You can get this content every morning in your email inbox. Click here to subscribe to the HoopsHype Daily newsletter.
BUYOUT SZN BEGINS: It’s hard for NBA teams to find difference-makers once the trade deadline passes, but one method many often try and use is to peruse the buyout market for experienced veterans who can play a complementary role towards winning basketball. Even then, however, things seldom pan out, as it’s extremely rare to see bought out players contribute to championship-winning teams. In fact, you have to go back to 2010-11 to find the last instance of a bought-out player playing at least 100 playoff minutes for a team that went on to win the title, when Peja Stojakovic did just that for the Mavericks.
The closest possible comparison we can find this season to that is Marvin Williams agreeing to a buyout with Charlotte in order to sign with the Bucks. Williams, a 37.6 percent three-point shooter this year, should fit wonderfully with what Milwaukee will ask him to do, and considering the Bucks are the best team in the league as is, that’s a scary notion for opponents.
Currently, there are three other players who will reportedly either be bought out or waived outright: Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Per reports, the Lakers have plans to speak with Waiters soon, and the fact that he’s repped by Rich Paul, the same agent as LeBron James and Anthony Davis, could help his case. Others who reportedly might hit the buyout market include Reggie Jackson, Evan Turner and Wayne Ellington, all vets who would undoubtedly pique the interest of contenders.
The buyout market might get steamy over the course of the upcoming week.
WHAT A TEASE: Darren Collison will spurn the two L.A. teams, opting to stay retired instead. Collison might not make an NBA return at all, either. That’s unfortunate news for the Lakers and Clippers, as the veteran point guard could have been a big-time addition to either team’s bench unit.
PORTIS FOCUSED ON NYC: One player who isn’t even thinking about a buyout, however, is Knicks big man Bobby Portis, who says he’s too young to be ring-chasing and is simply focused on making as much money as possible for his family. Can’t fault him for that.
KOBE TRIBUTES: NBA players continue to honor Kobe Bryant, many through the sneakers they wear. We’ve seen a lot of amazing Kobe sneaker tributes recently. Last night’s Oscars led off their annual ‘In Memoriam’ performance with a tribute to Kobe, too.
ALL-STAR FALLOUT: Just like certain players are more popular with fans than with other players, there are others who are more well-respected by fellow players than by fans. We ranked some of the top players who fall under the latter category.
EVALUATING TRADE PICKUPS: Anonymous scouts broke down the pickups of Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill by the Miami Heat. Iguodala and Crowder debuted last night for Miami, with the former shaking off some rust to drop two points, six rebounds and three assists while playing pretty impressive defense, and the latter dropping 18 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes.
Some other debutants with new teams yesterday include Andre Drummond, who had 19 points and 14 rebounds in 29 minutes from Cleveland, Marcus Morris, who had 10 points and four rebounds in a 41-point win for the Clippers, and Dewayne Dedmon, who had 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in his first game back with Atlanta.
AWKWARD DECISION: In Kyrie Irving’s latest injury absence, Caris LeVert has found his own pre-injury form, putting up a 29/3/6 stat line over his last three games. That puts Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson in an awkward position once Irving is healthy. Will LeVert be sent back to the bench when Irving is ready to return?
KD WATCH: The Nets have shut down the idea of Kevin Durant returning this season multiple times, but in the latest round of Durant workout footage, the former league MVP looks mighty nimble.
HEAD COACH SAFE: Kings vice president Vlade Divac is happy with the work of Luke Walton this season, and the head coach’s job security seems to be just that… secure. For now, at least.
GOOD GUY EVAN: A legitimately heart-warming story about Evan Turner and a Boston kid named Frankie, and the friendship the two have struck up since meeting five years ago.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
Click here for the answer.