Ryan Young • Yahoo Sports
The NBA trade deadline came and went on Thursday afternoon, providing plenty of entertainment as fans watched all of the last-minute trades go down across the league.
That excitement isn’t done yet, however, as the NBA will now turn to the buyout market.
Several players across the league either have been waived or are expected to be waived, which will create an influx of free agents now free to sign with any team in the league. And, as long as they’re waived by March 1, they are eligible to compete in the playoffs.
While more moves across the league are likely to go down, here’s a look at some of the best available players left after Thursday’s trade deadline.
We’ve known that Carmelo Anthony was going to become a free agent for quite some time.
Anthony was traded to the Chicago Bulls in January after a rough time with the Houston Rockets. The Bulls made it clear that their intention was to waive the former Knicks star, which they then did on February 1.
Anthony, who had signed a one-year, $2.4 million deal in Houston, lasted just 10 games with the team. And while the 34-year-old, 11-time All-Star is definitely near the tail end of his NBA career, the 16-year veteran is still capable of having a tremendous impact on any team in the league.
And, according to Wojnarowski, the Lakers will have their eyes on him once the full buyout market is set.
While Anthony was talked about as a key addition for the Lakers if they were able to acquire Pelicans star Anthony Davis — which they failed to do — he could still be an interesting piece for LeBron James and company in Los Angeles as they attempt to make a playoff push over the next few months.
The Knicks waived Enes Kanter on Thursday, a move that was long expected.
The eighth-year center averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds this season in New York. The Knicks had tried to find someone to trade for Kanter, however failed to find any takers. He currently has an expiring $18.6 million deal.
While he has started 23 games this season, his role has diminished rapidly in recent weeks. Kanter has appeared in just three of their past 12 games, and has openly criticized the coaching staff about his reduced role with the team. He has made it clear in recent days, though, that he knew his time in New York was coming to an end, and even kissed the center court logo in Madison Square Garden last week.
Other available players after Thursday
While Anthony and Kanter will likely draw most of the attention among players who were bought out on Thursday, there are still plenty of other players out there that can contribute solid time for teams looking to make a late push.
The Houston Rockets traded Nik Stauskas an7d Wade Baldwin to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, who then waived both of them.
The duo have been traded three different times this week, first to the Cavaliers, then to the Trail Blazers and then finally to Houston. Stauskas is averaging 6.1 points and 1.8 rebounds in 44 games this year, and Baldwin is averaging 1.6 points in 16 games.
The Dallas Mavericks will waive Zach Randolph on Thursday afternoon after acquiring him in a deal with the Sacramento Kings, according to Charania. The Mavericks sent Sacramento Harrison Barnes in exchange for Randolph and Justin Jackson. Randolph, who is in his 18th season, has yet to play this year.
The Atlanta Hawks will waive Jabari Bird on Thursday, who they acquired from the Boston Celtics. Bird, who was drafted in the second round of the 2017 draft, has played just 13 games with the Celtics while dealing with numerous legal issues.
Wesley Matthews agreed to a contract buyout with the Knicks on Thursday. Matthews, who was acquired by the Knicks in the deal with the Mavericks that sent Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas, is averaging 12.8 points and 2.3 rebounds so far this year. According to Charania, the Pacers are favorites to sign the 32-year-old.
The Clippers will waive center Marcin Gortat. The 34-year-old has averaged just five points and 5.6 rebounds in just 16 minutes per game this year for the Clippers — his first with the team.
The Clippers, who traded with the Lakers for Michael Beasley on Thursday, plan to waive the 30-year-old, according to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes.
Beasley had averaged just seven points and 2.3 rebounds in nearly 11 minutes per game with the Lakers this year.
The Clippers also plan to waive guard Milos Teodosic, who has played in just 15 games for them this year.