Carmelo Anthony, Enes Kanter headline buyout market after Thursday’s trade deadline

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.

Carmelo Anthony

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.

Enes Kanter

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.


USA Today Sports

New-look Philadelphia 76ers beat Denver Nuggets 117-110

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — JJ Redick scored a season-high 34 points, Jimmy Butler had 22 and the new-look Philadelphia 76ers beat the Denver Nuggets 117-110 on Friday night.

Tobias Harris had 14 points and eight rebounds in his first game for Philadelphia and Joel Embiid added 15 points and 12 rebounds despite playing with stomach flu.

Nikola Jokic led Denver with 27 points and Jamal Murray had 23. The Nuggets were missing Gary Harris and Paul Millsap.

The Sixers made a flurry of moves before Thursday’s trade deadline, acquiring Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott from the Clippers, James Ennis from Houston and Jonathon Simmons from Orlando.


DALLAS — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points and 17 rebounds and Milwaukee rolled to its sixth straight victory, beating retooling Dallas.

Antetokounmpo was 13 of 19 from the field and got the upper hand again in his second meeting with fellow Euro star Luka Doncic, the Dallas rookie sensation who scored 20 points. He’s the only original starter remaining because of two trades that were more about the future than the present.

Brook Lopez added 20 points for the Bucks. Trey Burke, one of four players to join Dallas from New York in a deal that also brought Kristaps Porzingis and sent three Dallas starters to the Knicks, scored 18 points.


PHOENIX — Stephen Curry shook off a poor shooting performance by scoring 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to help Golden State beat Phoenix for the 18th consecutive time.

Klay Thompson scored 25 points for the Warriors, Kevin Durantadded 21 points and DeMarcus Cousins 18.

Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 25 points, and Deandre Ayton 23 for Phoenix.


Anthony Davis, Playing for first time since asking to be traded, had 32 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 25 minutes, and New Orleans beat Minnesota.

Jrue Holiday had 27 points and nine assists and Kenrich Williamshad 19 points — and they led the Pelicans offense in the fourth quarter, when Davis was kept on the bench despite the fact that the teams were separated by as little as one basket several times in the waning minutes. Instead of playing Davis, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry sent in Julius Randle, who came through with a pair of inside baskets and clutch free throws in the final minutes.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 32 points for Minnesota.

KINGS 102, HEAT 96

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Buddy Hield scored 23 points and made a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left, and Sacramento rallied from 11 down in the fourth quarter to beat Miami.

Bogdan Bogdanovic added 16 points, and Harrison Barnes had 12 in his Kings debut after being acquired from Dallas as part of a three-team trade.

Josh Richardson scored 21 points, and Dwyane Wade had 15 for Miami, all coming after the 12-time All-Star was involved in a scary fall with 15 seconds left in the first quarter. Wade landed awkwardly while going for a rebound and his head bounced off the floor.


DETROIT — Andre Drummond had 29 points and 20 rebounds and Detroit handed New York its 15th straight loss.

Blake Griffin scored 26 points for the Pistons, who traded Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson in deadline deals but kept enough of their top players to make a postseason berth still plausible.

Dennis Smith Jr. scored 31 points for the Knicks. They have lost 28 of their last 30.


WASHINGTON — Bobby Portis scored 30 points in his Washington debut, Bradley Beal added 25 points and 12 assists, and the Wizards beat Cleveland.

Portis was acquired along with Jabari Parker on Thursday in a trade that sent Otto Porter Jr. to Chicago.

Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 27 points. Kevin Lovereturned after missing 50 games following left foot surgery. He started and played the first six minutes, scoring four points. Cleveland has lost 21 of 24.

BULLS 125, NETS 106

NEW YORK — Lauri Markkanen had 31 points and 18 rebounds to lead Chicago past Brooklyn.

Markkanen scored at least 30 points in his third straight game. Zach LaVine added 23 points, and Otto Porter Jr. had 18 in his first game with the Bulls. D’Angelo Russell led the Nets with 23 points.

Pelicans will allow Anthony Davis to play for rest of season – but he has now become the latest prize in the Lakers-Celtics rivalry

Inside The NBA – The crew talks Anthony Davis staying & playing with Pelicans – Feb 8, 2019

Adrian Wojnarowski • ESPN

After considering the possibility of shutting down All-NBA center Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans will allow Davis back into the lineup for the rest of the season, the team confirmed in a statement Thursday night.

After the trade deadline passed with Davis on the roster Thursday, Pelicans executives and coach Alvin Gentry met to discuss the plan to reincorporate Davis into the team, league sources told ESPN. The NBA office was concerned about the possibility of a healthy star being forced to sit out in this situation, sources said.

In a statement Thursday night explaining the decision, general manager Dell Demps said, “A number of factors contributed to this decision. Ultimately, Anthony made it clear to us that he wants to play, and he gives our team the best opportunity to win games.

“Moreover, the Pelicans want to preserve the integrity of the game and align our organization with NBA policies. We believe Anthony playing upholds the values that are in the best interest of the NBA and its fans. We look forward to seeing Anthony in a Pelicans uniform again soon.”

Davis has said he wants to return to the lineup and finish the season on the court.

Because Davis had requested a trade 11 days ago and informed the organization that he would leave in free agency in 2020, there had been consideration of sitting Davis and preserving his health as a trade asset, sources said.

Davis has missed nine games with a finger injury but was cleared to practice this week.

Anthony Davis is the latest prize in the Lakers-Celtics rivalry

Jackie MacMullan • ESPN

BOSTON — Sure, the Boston Red Sox knocked out the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series in October and the New England Patriots dispatched the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl less than a week ago, but let’s get real: The only “Beat L.A.” rivalry with actual juice is Celtics vs. Lakers.

Their rich, storied histories were heightened by the gamesmanship both franchises engaged in as the NBA trade deadline approached Thursday. The Los Angeles Lakers, desperate to pair LeBron Jameswith another superstar, worked feverishly on a package to pry away Anthony Davis, who asked for a trade out of New Orleans just 10 days ago.

When L.A. failed to beat the clock, the biggest winner was its East Coast nemesis, the Boston Celtics, who implored the Pelicans to be patient. And if they could wait, Boston could utilize its treasure trove of young players and draft picks to make its own run at the 25-year-old star come July.

Against this backdrop, the two teams squared off at a raucous TD Garden on Thursday night. Never mind this version of the purple and gold came in mired in 10th place in the Western Conference, fighting to stay above .500. Never mind it has been nine long years since the foes faced each other in the Finals.

They are forever intertwined because of Jack Kent Cooke’s balloons, Boston’s parquet dead spots, Kareem’s skyhook, Larry’s 3-point daggers, Magic’s no-look passes, the bruising back-and-forth battles between Pierce and Kobe.

And now, apparently, because of Rajon Rondo‘s frantic buzzer-beater.

The former Celtic — a key cog in Boston’s march to a 2008 title over the Lakers — capped a wild evening by swishing a jumper as time expired to stun his former team.

“A storybook ending,” LeBron declared.

It was a thrilling finish to an otherwise crushing day for Lakers fans, who hoped for Davis to don their uniform by the weekend. In one of the most active deadline days ever, a multitude of trades impacted contending teams such as Milwaukee, Toronto and Philadelphia. Yet all eyes remained fixed on two storied franchises that ultimately … did nothing.

The Lakers offered any player outside of LeBron paired with draft picks, nightclub passes and “I Love L.A.” bumper stickers, but the Pelicans stood pat. Now, it will be Boston’s turn to manage the speculation that will run rampant through the season and up to the summer.

Who will be used as bait to lure Davis aboard? Will Boston pull the trigger on young stud Jayson Tatum? Will favorite son Marcus Smart be a casualty of the Davis sweepstakes? Will the Lakers reload and sweeten the pot? Will Kyrie Irving stick around to play alongside his friend Davis?

“Celtics vs. Lakers again — let’s revisit this in July,” Lakers analyst (and NBA 1987 champion over Boston) Mychal Thompson said.

The inability to land Davis is a blow to Lakers president Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who, when he took over as president of basketball operations, promised the game’s elite stars would flock to L.A. Magic didn’t make the trip to Boston on Thursday night, though his checkered history here is all part of the lore.

It was against the Celtics in 1984 that Magic missed key free throws and was pinned with the dubious nickname “Tragic Magic.” Johnson rebounded with clutch play in the 1985 Finals against Boston, and then, in 1987, lofted his “junior, junior skyhook” over the outstretched arms of Bird, McHale and Parish to drive a stake through their reign.

Magic went on to win five rings, earning the right to gloat to his old pal Larry that he and his Lakers had the upper hand.

Who has it now? As Thompson so aptly stated: check back in July.

The NBA is headed for a different kind of confrontation between Danny Ainge and Magic Johnson. Bettmann/Getty Images