NBA Rumors: Buzz Around Buyout Candidates Post-Trade Deadline

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMarch 26, 2021

NBA Rumors: Buzz Around Buyout Candidates Post-Trade Deadline

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    This year's NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and while some notable players switched teams Thursday, others featured in rumors didn't get dealt. However, that doesn't necessarily mean they will be staying on their current teams for the rest of the 2020-21 season.

    Several players could be bought out, which would then make them unrestricted free agents and able to sign elsewhere. The San Antonio Spurs announced soon after the deadline that they had bought out veteran forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

    Who else could be bought out, and where will these players then end up? Here's some of the latest post-deadline buzz from around the NBA.

Numerous Teams Could Pursue Drummond

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Andre Drummond hasn't played a game for the Cleveland Cavaliers since Feb. 12, as the team looked to work out a trade for the 27-year-old center. 

    While he didn't get dealt, don't expect Drummond to suit up for Cleveland again. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Drummond and the Cavaliers will now "work out a buyout," which means the nine-year NBA veteran's time in Cleveland will end after he played in only 33 games for the team over the past two seasons.

    According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the market for Drummond is "expected to center around" the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.'s Chris Fedor noted that the Brooklyn Nets could also be a front-runner to sign Drummond.

    It's possible that the Lakers or Nets could be a more likely landing spot for Drummond than the Knicks, though, per a report from SNY's Ian Begley.

    "There is at least one prominent voice among the Knicks who is in favor of acquiring Drummond. But, per SNY sources, a majority of organization doesn’t see Drummond as a fit," Begley wrote.

    So, as Los Angeles and Brooklyn each gear up to try to make a run for the NBA title, it's possible one of the two could be getting a boost down low with the addition of Drummond.

Heat Emerging as Front-Runners for Aldridge?

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Shortly after the trade deadline passed, the Spurs announced they had reached a buyout agreement with Aldridge. Now, the 35-year-old forward will be looking for a new team after spending six seasons in San Antonio.

    ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Miami Heat are "expected to emerge" as a front-runner to sign Aldridge, who "plans to talk with several teams before finalizing a decision." The Heat already made two additions to their roster Thursday, as they acquired shooting guard Victor Oladipo in a trade with the Houston Rockets and received forward Nemanja Bjelica from the Sacramento Kings.

    Before playing for the Spurs, Aldridge spent the first nine seasons of his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers. However, it doesn't appear like he could potentially head back there, according to The Athletic's Jason Quick.

    Aldridge is averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 21 games this season, while shooting 46.4 percent from the field. He's missed some time due to a hip injury and illness, and he hasn't played since March 1, as he and the Spurs had mutually agreed to part ways earlier in March.

Will Porter Remain in Orlando After Trade?

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    On Thursday, Otto Porter Jr. was traded for the second time in his eight-year NBA career. The 27-year-old forward was dealt with Wendell Carter Jr. and two first-round draft picks to the Orlando Magic in a move that sent Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu to the Chicago Bulls.

    However, is Porter going to be staying in Orlando for the next chapter of his career? Haynes reported that "multiple teams" had been "eyeing" Porter as a player who could potentially be bought out and may be hitting free agency. But Haynes also noted that Porter is planning to stick with the Magic "for now."

    During his time with the Bulls, Porter ended up playing only 54 games over three seasons due to injuries. This season, he's averaging 9.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 25 games, missing some time because of a back injury.

    Even though Porter intends to stay in Orlando now, it's possible he could be there only for the short term. He's set to become a free agent at the end of the season, so he may sign with another team when that time comes.