The NBA trade deadline came and went last Thursday with most of the NBA’s top contenders standing pat. The top two teams in both conferences (the Cavs, Warriors, Spurs and Celtics) all saw the deadline pass without making a move.
The biggest moves made by a serious playoff contender were the Raptors acquisition of P.J. Tucker to help out in their wing rotation (and of course adding Serge Ibaka before the All-Star break), the Rockets adding Lou Williams from the Lakers and the Wizards trading for Bojan Bogdanovic. However, the race for bolstering bench units with veterans didn’t end with the deadline. If anything, it only started heating up.
When the trade deadline hit, it meant a number of teams would be looking to unload some veteran contracts by way of buyout. The Mavericks waived Deron Williams and he’s expected to sign in Cleveland soon to provide some much needed point guard help for the Cavs. On Monday, a number of other veterans hit the buyout market as Andrew Bogut, Jose Calderon and Brandon Jennings all were officially waived.
Like Williams, Bogut has been connected with the Cavs, but he will reportedly at least entertain the option of some other contenders before making his decision.
Calderon is all but locked in on signing with the Warriors, per The Vertical’s Shams Charania, who confirmed a report that Marc Stein of ESPN dropped on Sunday. Meanwhile, Jennings is looking at the Wizards and others, per ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
None of these players will be able to sign until they clear waivers on Wednesday, which is the same day as the deadline to sign with a team and make the playoff roster. For contenders that don’t want or can’t afford to move current contributing pieces (or future picks) at the trade deadline, the post-deadline buyout market has become the best source for mid-season roster additions. It appears as though all of the top contenders will at least make an attempt to bolster their rosters this week.