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Ranking the NBA's Best Potential and Available Buyout Candidates

Ben LeibowitzCorrespondent IIIFebruary 21, 2014

Ranking the NBA's Best Potential and Available Buyout Candidates

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    Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

    The 2014 NBA trade deadline might be in the rearview mirror, but that doesn't mean teams around the Association won't be able to add fresh faces as contract buyouts start to occur.

    Danny Granger—who was traded from the Indiana Pacers to the Philadelphia 76ers—for instance, may receive a buyout from Philly moving forward, per ESPN's Marc Stein.

    ESPN's Ramona Shelburne has already reported via Twitter that the Orlando Magic have bought out Glen Davis. He's sure to have plenty of suitors who are looking to acquire his services for the stretch run.

    A handful of viable names are starting to become available post deadline, so contending teams around the league will have their eyes peeled as they look to shore up their rosters.

    The Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Brooklyn Nets have all already been tied to numerous potential acquisitions. It will only be a matter of time before many of these guys are scooped up and residing in different locker rooms.

Honorable Mention: Chris Kaman

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    Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

    Although there haven't been reports that Los Angeles Lakers center Chris Kaman will be bought out in the coming days, there’s reason to believe NBA fans shouldn’t rule it out as a possibility for three reasons:

    1. Kaman is unhappy with his situation in LA.
    2. The Lakers reportedly tried to trade him before the deadline, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
    3. He’s on a one-year contract and would have his deal expire at the end of the season regardless.

    Despite describing his situation with the Lakers as “same (expletive), new city” earlier this season, the 31-year-old has had some solid performances with added playing time.

    In three games from Feb. 9 through Feb. 13 (all Lakers losses), Kaman averaged 23.7 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. Granted, one could argue that he’s getting those numbers by playing a selfish, stat-padding style, but those are still gaudy stats.

    Kaman could still help a contender at this point in his career. A buyout and subsequent signing would likely rejuvenate him as well.

    The Heat are in dire need of a consistent rebounder. Meanwhile, Kaman played with the Clippers for his first eight NBA seasons. Look for those two teams to be in the running if he gets released.

    Best Potential Fits: Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets

9. Roger Mason Jr. (Potential)

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    Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Although the Miami Heat traded Roger Mason Jr. to the Sacramento Kings before the deadline in order to open up a roster spot for another possible signing, Sacramento may buy him out.

    If the Kings decide to execute a buyout with the veteran, he’s an interesting under-the-radar name to look out for.

    The 33-year-old veteran is a career 38.3 percent shooter from three-point range, so he's capable of spreading the floor on offense.

    He had his best year as a pro in 2008-09 as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. He played all 82 games that year under head coach Gregg Popovich (71 starts), averaging 11.8 points on 42.1 percent shooting from downtown.

    Don’t be surprised if the Spurs look to add him if they miss out on other available free agents. He did hit some huge shots for San Antonio after all.

    Best Potential Fits: San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies, Charlotte Bobcats

8. Antawn Jamison (Available)

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    Rocky Widner/Getty Images

    According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chris Vivlamore, the Atlanta Hawks have already decided to waive forward Antawn Jamison.

    The 20,000-point scorer was dealt to Atlanta from the Los Angeles Clippers, so the question now is whether other contending teams think he can bring any type of value to the table. LA clearly didn’t see much by dumping him in Atlanta.

    I can’t remember another NBA athlete who experienced such a drastic decline so quickly. Yes, Jamison is now 37 years old, but he averaged 17.2 points per game just two years ago for the Cleveland Cavaliers (on 40.3 percent shooting but still).

    He was expected to be a legitimate sixth man when he joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012-13, but Father Time finally caught up to him.

    He averaged 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds per game for the Clippers before getting traded at the deadline. He may have some gas left in the tank, but many teams may believe he’s running on fumes at this point.

    According to Brian Windhorst and Arash Markazi of ESPN, however, the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards are all interested.

    Best Potential Fits: Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs

7. Charlie Villanueva (Potential)

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    Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

    At this point of Charlie Villanueva’s NBA career, he’s seen more as a cap figure rather than a basketball player.

    The veteran forward has been trapped on the Detroit Pistons bench this year, and his approximate $8.5 million expiring contract wasn’t dealt prior to the Feb. 20 deadline. Could he be another potential buyout candidate?

    “Anything’s possible. Right now, it is what it is,” Villanueva said, per Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. “I wish I could help this team in any way possible, but they’re going in a different direction. It’s part of the business, but if (a buyout) presented itself, that’s something we’d look at, for sure.”

    He is being a professional by saying all the right things, so we’ll have to wait and see if the Pistons grant him a buyout moving forward.

    He has unique skills as a big man who can shoot the three-ball, but I think it’s fair to say he won’t be joining Kevin Garnett on the Brooklyn Nets if he gets bought out.

    Best Potential Fits: Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers

6. Earl Clark (Available)

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    Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    "Earlsanity baby!"

    All right, so maybe Earl Clark isn't one of the most appealing names on the market—as Mike D'Antoni's famous quote might suggest—but he's young (26 years old) and has a fair amount of playoff experience from his time with the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers.

    After being acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers in the Spencer Hawes deal, Clark was waived mere hours afterward, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Now contenders around the NBA have a shot at scooping him up.

    As a lanky forward who can defend, shoot threes and rebound, Clark is an example of a guy who does a lot of things, well, decently.

    The Louisville product isn't great at any one aspect of the game, but he can still contribute as a young, physical specimen.

    Best Potential Fits: San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat

5. Caron Butler (Potential)

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Caron Butler of the lowly Milwaukee Bucks is another player who may hit free agency in the coming days via buyout.

    As ESPN Radio's Jorge Sedano writes via Twitter, "I wouldn't be surprised if if Caron Butler returns to Heat, the team that drafted him. Via trade or more likely via Milwaukee buyout."

    Butler was acquired last summer in the deal that brought Eric Bledsoe to the Phoenix Suns, but he was flipped to the Bucks in exchange for Ish Smith and Slava Kravtsov before playing a single minute for Phoenix.

    Suns general manager Ryan McDonough was doing a favor to Butler, whose hometown is in Wisconsin, but I imagine he'd leap at the chance to play for a contender in hopes of winning a championship—which is essentially the opposite situation the Bucks are in.

    The Miami Heat are the obvious destination, but other teams could use his grit and tenacity. The Charlotte Bobcats, for instance, had a deal that would have netted them Butler break down before the deadline. Perhaps they'll pursue him if/when he's available.

    Best Potential Fits: Miami Heat, Charlotte Bobcats, San Antonio Spurs

4. Ben Gordon (Potential)

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    Kent Smith/Getty Images

    The Charlotte Bobcats are reportedly negotiating a buyout with veteran guard Ben Gordon, per Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

    As a career 40.2 percent shooter from three-point territory, Gordon could provide teams with outside shooting if given the minutes. He's fallen out of favor in Charlotte, as he's played in just 18 games.

    He was once a 20-point-per-game scorer during his time with the Chicago Bulls, and while he's not even close to the player he once was, shooting is like riding a bike. In the right system, all he'd have to do is spot up around the three-point arc and let it fly when he's open.

    The Memphis Grizzlies desperately need some outside shooting to space the floor, but a reunion with the Bulls isn't out of the question.

    Best Potential Fits: Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs

3. Jason Terry (Potential)

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    Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

    Speaking of outside shooters, that's just about all Jason Terry can bring to NBA teams at this point in his career.

    His production fell off drastically with the Brooklyn Nets, as he has averaged 4.5 points and 1.6 assists in 35 games for a player efficiency rating of 7.6, per ESPN. Although he's been a shell of himself, he still managed to knock down 37.9 percent of his threes—his highest percentage since 2006-07 with the Dallas Mavericks.

    The biggest problem with him, though, lies with his defense. He has been a defensive sieve in 2013-14, notching a defensive rating (team points allowed per 100 possessions with him on the floor) of 108.4, per NBA.com/Stats.

    Terry won a championship in 2011 with the Mavs, but there's a chance that the Sacramento Kings may decide to keep him on board. As USA Today's Sam Amick reported via Twitter, "For those who wondered, I'm told Kings have no plans to buy out either Jason Terry or Reggie Evans...That being said on the Jason Terry front, have to wonder if Kings' plans change if he's as unhappy being in Sacto as some have said."

    Even if Sacramento wants to keep him, Terry may force a buyout. He expressed interest to Fox Sports Florida in joining the Heat in 2012, per ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon.

    Best Potential Fits: Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks

     

    Update:

    According to the Associated Press (via ESPN), Jason Terry will miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season in order to rehabilitate a knee injury.

2. Danny Granger (Potential)

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    Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

    Christopher Vito of the Delaware County Daily Times cited Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie in a tweet: "Sam Hinkie on whether Danny Granger gets bought out: 'There's a chance for us to have a discussion.'"

    ESPN's Marc Stein said the following of Granger's situation via Twitter: "It is NOT an automatic DGranger will get a buyout from Sixers. Keeping him for sign-and-trade options this summer holds appeal for Philly."

    Stein then added, "But Granger clearly does not want to be in Philly and is expected to push for his release to try to work his way to Miami, OKC, SA, etc."

    There's a possibility that Philly will keep Granger for potential sign-and-trade deals in the future, but he may not stand for that.

    If he does get bought out in the coming days, Stein reports that he'll try to work his way to a legitimate contender.

    It wasn't long ago that the New Mexico product was posting more than 20 points per game for the Pacers. He was a legitimate NBA star, but repeated injuries derailed his once promising career. If he can find a niche somewhere moving forward, perhaps he'll regain his old form.

    Best Potential Fits: Charlotte Bobcats, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder

1. Glen Davis (Signed)

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    As stated in the intro slide, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported that Glen Davis' buyout with the Orlando Magic became official on Feb. 21. She also wrote that the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in the veteran's services.

    The Clips aren't the only team looking to acquire "Big Baby," though.

    For instance, Sheridan Hoops' Michael Scotto reports via Twitter that the Brooklyn Nets will be interested in him (surprise, surprise).

    Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that in addition to the Nets and Clippers, the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors have all expressed interest in the 28-year-old.

    He will be a hot commodity for NBA teams because he has a fair amount of postseason experience. He played in 64 playoff games over the course of four seasons with the Boston Celtics and had a breakout playoff performance in 2011-12 with Orlando.

    In five games for the Magic against the Indiana Pacers (a 4-1 first-round series loss), he averaged 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

    He has an impressive resume for a guy who can essentially be picked up for nothing, so he's essentially free to choose his own best destination at this point.

    Best Potential Fits: Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets

     

    Update:

    According to the Los Angeles Times' Broderick Turner, an NBA executive has said that Davis will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.

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