Now that the trade deadline has passed, it is officially buyout season.
A few relatively significant players have already been bought out and signed new contracts with contending teams.
LaMarcus Aldridge just became the latest former All-Star to sign with the Brooklyn Nets.
Andre Drummond just signed with the Los Angeles Lakers after being bought out by the Cavs.
While buyout players do tend to get overhyped when discussing the impact they can have on a team’s championship aspirations, there may still be some players out there that can increase the odds for the Philadelphia 76ers.
DeMarcus Cousins began the year with the Houston Rockets, and it’s been a while since he got released from the team. Heading for the stretch run, there will most likely be a number of teams interested in his services. The main reason he’s a target of interest for the Sixers is due to the George Hill trade and Joel Embiid’s injury. Nearly any player who can provide a size for the Sixers at this point could potentially be of benefit.
In the 25 games Cousins played in for Houston, he averaged just under 10 points per game, albeit shooting just 38% from the field. Signing a player like DeMarcus Cousins would be banking on him putting his ego aside and filling a role similar to what Dwight Howard has been able to do late in his career.
Olynyk was just part of the Victor Oladipo trade that sent the shooting guard to the Miami Heat. Now with the Houston Rockets, it’s unclear what that franchise’s plans are moving forward. Buying out Olynyk certainly seems like a possibility, however. This season with Miami, Olynyk averaged 10 points per game on 43% shooting from the field and 32% from the three-point range.
Olynyk takes a pretty high volume of three-point shots and is respected as a big man capable of knocking shots down from long range. He would certainly help space the floor in minutes that Ben Simmons is on the floor and Joel Embiid is taking a rest.
Avery Bradley was the other player involved in the Victor Oladipo trade and found himself in Houston’s rebuilding situation. Bradley is a 3&D guard who lots of teams would covet for their playoff run.
Bradley only played in 10 games for the Heat this season, but the small sample size showed he can still shoot the ball consistently from deep. Two-way guards are an essential part of any playoff roster, especially one with the Brooklyn Nets on their way to an NBA Finals.
Otto Porter Jr.
Porter Jr. has been known for having one of the worst contracts in the NBA for the last few years. He’s had another very average season thus far and was just involved in the trade that sent Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls. There’s no word yet on if the Magic plan on keeping Porter Jr. or buying him out, but if he does get bought out, there’s an argument to be made that he’s a fit on the 76ers.
In 25 games with the Bulls this year, he shot 40% from three and, at 6’8″, can play either forward spot and stretch the floor. Ideally, you don’t ask him to do much else than catch and shoot, and the addition of George Hill would certainly help a player like Porter Jr. off the bench.
The buyout market gives the Sixers another chance to upgrade their roster and potentially find another rotation piece for the playoffs.
While none of these players have the ability to shift the odds for an NBA title on their own, they can add to areas where the Sixers are currently lacking.
It will be interesting to see what Daryl Morey has planned for making any final upgrades as we push towards the playoffs.
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