The NBA trade deadline passed on Feb. 20, but that does not mean players will stop changing teams. A number of potential contributors can still be claimed off waivers or signed as free agents.
With less than two months remaining in the regular season, organizations have to do whatever it takes to put the best possible roster on the floor for the home stretch. Teams that are currently outside of the playoffs will want to get a top-eight seed, while those already in position will do what it takes to make a deeper run.
Fortunately, there are a number of players that have been made available that can make legitimate contributions this season or beyond. Here is a look at a few with uncertain futures and the latest buzz surrounding each of them.
There were high hopes for the lottery pick out of college, but Jimmer Fredette has struggled to get onto the court with regularity in his first three years in the league. This season, he is averaging a career-low 11.3 minutes per game while his scoring totals are also down.
The good news is he might get a chance at a fresh start, with the Sacramento Kings working on a buyout, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The report states that the team tried to make a trade before the deadline but was unable to find a suitor.
Still, it appears as though there are multiple teams willing to sign Fredette once he is a free agent, including the Memphis Grizzlies, according to ESPN's Marc Stein:
Memphis, I'm told, has indeed emerged as an interested suitor for @jimmerfredette once he clears waivers. But there will surely be others— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 25, 2014
Word is Grizzlies are among teams that have pursued @JimmerFredette in past trade discussions with Sacramento dating to last season— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 25, 2014
Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio also speculates that the Cleveland Cavaliers could be in the running:
These two options could confirm Stein's theory about finding a place where he can get playing time:
Just a theory: I suspect Fredette's camp would likewise consider non-playoff teams offering legit PT to give him meaningful chance to play— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 25, 2014
On the other hand, Fredette also has a lot of value as an elite shooter after hitting 49.3 percent of his shots from behind the arc this season. If he had enough attempts to qualify, this would be the highest mark in the NBA.
The shooting guard could be a big-time contributor on a contender as someone who can stretch the floor and hit open shots whenever he gets the chance. In reality, this might be the best option for Fredette for the remainder of his career.
It has been a strange week for Earl Clark. The small forward was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of a deal for Spencer Hawes. One day later, he was waived by his new team and cleared waivers.
Fortunately, it does not seem like he will be without a job for too much longer, according to Wojnarowski:
The New York Knicks are finalizing an agreement with free-agent forward Earl Clark, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Knicks also are trying to sign another defensive-minded player before meeting the Miami Heat on Thursday in Miami, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
While Clark could not contribute much for the Cavaliers this season, he is coming off a strong year with the Los Angeles Lakers, starting 36 games for the injury-riddled team. He finished the 2012-13 season with 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while also displaying impressive defense thanks to his length and athleticism.
The Knicks have failed to live up to expectations this season and could use some help virtually everywhere on the court. If signed, Clark could add some solid depth and athleticism as well as improve the perimeter defense.
Additionally, New York is looking to add another solid defender in Dahntay Jones, who recently worked out with the team, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv:
#Knicks worked out Dahntay Jones today...Bulls source says 'he can defend.' Woodson said they are looking for a perimeter defender— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) February 25, 2014
These two additions will not be enough to turn around the season, but they could make a significant upgrade for the rest of the year.
Like Clark, Danny Granger was sent to the 76ers in a trade shortly before the deadline. Although it is not certain, he could end up with a similar fate in Philadelphia.
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer provides details of the team's situation:
Granger wants to play for an NBA championship contender, according to sources. And there's a belief the Sixers will negotiate a buyout of what's left of his expiring contract (about $4 million) to accommodate the former all-star. He must be on a postseason-bound team's roster by Saturday in order play in the playoffs.
Head coach Brett Brown also provided the latest information, via Dei Lynam of CSN Philly:
In the next short period of time, maybe even in the next 24 hours an announcement will be made on the direction our situation with Danny Granger will go.
He most definitely wants to play basketball this year. He is assessing his goals at this stage of his career. He wants to play. I think he is just trying to sort out what is best for both parties and that has yet to be determined.
Granger has missed each of the first two games as a member of the 76ers, but it is clear he has little interest in competing for a squad with the second-worst record in the NBA. While he is far from being the player who scored over 20 points per game in three straight seasons, he can still provide a contender with plenty of value.
The small forward is averaging 8.3 points in just 22.5 minutes per game this season and could help a team add some consistent scoring off the bench. If he is waived, you can imagine a number of teams will be interested in making a deal.
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