NBA – Even though the trade deadline has passed, teams still have the chance to further shuffle their rosters thanks to the buyout market.
Moving toward the Miami Heat is Kevin Love. For the Phoenix Suns, Terrence Ross has already made his debut. After the break, Reggie Jackson will join the Denver Nuggets’ rotation.
Yet there are still a handful of other people who might make a difference. And former MVP Russell Westbrook is on that list.
He and four other players, who are ranked lower by their potential to influence a playoff rotation, may still be moved before the March 1 deadline for teams to release players to maintain their playoff eligibility.
Ranking Top NBA Buyout After All-Star Weekend
The Washington Wizards couldn’t have chosen a worse team for Will Barton to play for.
His 7.7 points are his lowest average since 2014–15, and his 38.7 field-goal percentage is the second-lowest record of his career, trailing only his rookie season.
By January, he was almost entirely removed from the rotation in Washington. He did, however, play for the Denver Nuggets one season ago, averaging 14.7 points per game and shooting 36.5 percent from outside the arc. He is only 32 years old.
However, there is still a demand for wings across the league, particularly as the playoffs draw closer and lineup adaptability becomes even more crucial.
Any club that signs him definitely won’t be expecting him to score in the double digits, but as a fourth or fifth wing in the rotation, he can be an improvement for a few playoff-bound teams.
Since New Year’s Eve, Derrick Rose hasn’t played for the New York Knicks, but according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, “a source close to the matter wouldn’t fully dismiss a buyout when the dust cleared on the new rosters after a wild trade deadline.”
It may be difficult to envision Rose contributing to a contender this season given that he has completely dropped out of the rotation and that injuries only allowed him to make 26 appearances in 2021–22 (and an average of just 44 over the four seasons before that).
Nonetheless, Rose’s offensive box plus/minus from 2018–19 to 2021–22 was tied for 33rd in the league, lagging behind averages of 22.9 points, 6.5 assists, and 1.5 threes per 75 possessions.
And maybe spending so much time on the bench this year will have a similar invigorating impact as when the Oklahoma City Thunder simply sent Al Horford home in the middle of the season in 2020–21.
Rose might have some moments in 10-15 minutes off the bench if he has his feet under him and doesn’t have to endure the rigors of a complete 82-game season.
The brief time Patrick Beverley spent playing for the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t start well.
Beverley averaged 4.9 points while shooting 28.6 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from three over the first 12 games of the season when Los Angeles was 2-10.
He never quite got over the smell of those first several weeks. Yet after being traded to the Orlando Magic, despite having averaged 7.9 points, 2.7 assists, and 1.6 threes while shooting 42.6 percent from outside the arc during his previous 25 games, he is now available for buyout.
That second Beverley can still be beneficial for clubs with ball-dominant wings or forwards in the playoff race.
Beverley doesn’t have much ball handling to do. On offense, he is content to simply spread the floor, shoot open threes, and occasionally initiate a set play. And he will always play aggressively on defense, despite his limited role.
He may have been overworked as a starter for a weak playoff club at the age of 34, but he would excel as a ninth or tenth man.
For the Los Angeles Clippers, John Wall was averaging a career-low 11.4 points per game while shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 30.3 percent from three, but he still exhibited flashes of his former self.
Wall’s initial stride is still swift enough to give him an advantage over many backup guards, even though he can’t go by most perimeter defenders like he once could. And even if that might not result in many points for himself, he can still set the stage for second units.
Wall currently ranks 10th in the league with 8.7 assists per 75 possessions on the season. A wall might play a limited role for a team that already has a capable backup number five and only needs some sets.
Throughout the last two seasons, Russell Westbrook was frequently made the Los Angeles Lakers’ scapegoat, but he didn’t request to be moved to a setting that didn’t make sense for him or the current stars. However, he didn’t create the roster which made the problems with the fit between him, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis worse.
He did, however, finally accept a bench position and carry on with the unwavering effort that helped him earn a spot on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.
Yet, even though his shooting percentages will be an issue wherever he plays, his raw averages of 17.4 points, 7.2 assists, and 6.9 rebounds over the past two seasons indicate he is still capable of producing.
Those metrics plus Westbrook’s competitiveness might be used to win minutes in the appropriate (very narrow) capacity.
Westbrook’s ability to get to the paint and spray out to catch-and-shoot possibilities on a team with a lot of shooters could be deadly, especially against second units.