The dust from the 2024 trade deadline has settled. While there weren’t too many big moves made, some contenders were able to improve their standing ahead of the last stretch of the season. However, teams that missed out aren’t completely out of luck when it comes to improving their roster.
Players can still hit the market as free agents due to buyouts, which happen when a team pays out the rest of a player’s contract to allow him to sign with a new team. This usually occurs with veterans who are stuck on bad teams and want to join contenders.
Here’s a look at some of the top players on the buyout market, along with others who could hit free agency in the coming days.
Young is signing with the Suns, giving Phoenix another versatile forward who can help with rebounding and defense. The Suns have revamped most of their bench rotation and now add a playoff-tested veteran to boost the team’s championships odds.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Lowry has agreed to a buyout with the Hornets and plans to sign with the 76ers once he clears waivers. The veteran point guard should be a solid addition to Philadelphia as the backup to Tyrese Maxey, although the Sixers won’t do much if Joel Embiid isn’t healthy by the time the playoffs start.
The Thunder are adding some depth in the frontcourt, signing Bismack Biyombo for the rest of the season. The center had some success with Memphis and will likely be coming off the bench for Oklahoma City. He offers more muscle than Chet Holmgren in the interior and is decent depth for a team looking to make noise in the postseason.
Update: Dinwiddie is signing with the Lakers, per Shams Charania. It’s a great opportunity for the combo guard to get playing time and carve out a role before a big summer.
In a surprising move, the Raptors waived Dinwiddie after acquiring him in what was effectively a move to get off future salary.
Dinwiddie isn’t going to move the needle for Toronto this season but he’s a veteran guard who can provide offense off the bench to any contender. It’s been a rough season in terms of efficiency for Dinwiddie, although the right situation might change that.
Expect several teams to be in touch with him in the coming days before he makes a decision.
The 76ers sent Morris to the Pacers for Buddy Hield. The Pacers then shipped Morris to the Spurs in a deal for Doug McDermott, effectively replacing Hield’s three-point shooting. San Antonio is expected to buy out Morris, setting him up to sign with a contender.
Morris has been down this path before. He’s now been traded three times this season if you count the James Harden trade. The veteran forward should be able to find a new team to join for a playoff run.
House was waived by the Pistons in one of the more odd deals of the trade deadline. There’s expected to be a decent market for the combo forward, who is a solid defender who can occasionally get hot from deep.
House will be a decent bench piece in any playoff rotation.
The veteran point guard was sent from the Golden State Warriors to the Pacers as the deadline hit in what was essentially a free second-round pick going to the Warriors. The Pacers promptly waived Joseph, who can now join a contender.
He’s got decent playoff experience, although most of it came a while back. We’ll see if any team makes a move here.
Update: According to Charania, Gallianari will be joining the Bucks through the buyout market. This gives Milwaukee another experienced wing player who can space the floor and crash the boards. Gallinari has dropped off a bit defensively over the years but is a nice piece to have on the bench for a playoff run.
The combo forward is being waived by the Pistons and is set to begin free agent meetings on February 8, per Shams Charania. Gallinari might not be a starter for a contender, but he’s a nice veteran wing who can shoot from the perimeter and provide rebounding support. He should be picked up by a contender as a bench piece.
Other names to watch
The Wizards have agreed to a buyout with Delon Wright, and the guard plans to sign with the Heat after clearing waivers according to Adrian Wojnarowski. This is great news for Miami, who needs guard help after injuries to Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson.
The Hornets have waived James Bouknight, who was a lottery pick in 2021. He’s likely going to be picked up in some fashion, potentially as a two-way player or on a G League contract. The Pacers are waiving Furkan Korkmaz, who they acquired in the Hield trade. We’ll see if Korkmaz is able to latch on to another contender.
Chimezie Metu, Ish Smith and Frank Ntilikina were also waived. Metu and Smith have been on decent teams and given solid rotation minutes, while Ntilikina has bounced around the league for a while without ever really clicking. We’ll see if Metu and Smith draw interest, while Ntilikina likely has to wait until the offseason to get a new contract.
The Jazz have waived Kevin Knox, who has never quite been able to latch on despite his lofty status as a top-10 pick out of Kentucky. We’ll see if anyone takes a chance on him now or if he has to wait until the offseason like Ntilikina.