Now that we are nearly a week past the NBA’s Trade Deadline, there is still another important deadline only a few days away. What I am referring to is the March 1st deadline where teams can buy out players, with the players still be eligible to play in the playoffs. While Glen “Big Baby,” Davis and Earl Clark have already signed with new teams after their buyout (the Clippers and Knicks respectively), plenty of other big names are still, up for grabs. Here are a few of the big names that are on the open market.
Danny Granger -
Now that Granger has been bought out by the Philadelphia 76ers he is the biggest name on the market. The former All-Star has struggled mightily with injuries over the past two seasons, but could still provide value coming off of the bench for a contender.
The team that is being thrown out the most is the San Antonio Spurs, and this would be an ideal fit for both parties. Granger wants to play on a team where he gets a significant amount of playing time while competing for a title. On the Spurs he would do just that, coming off the bench for a solid 20-25 minutes to back up the 2 and the 3. With Tony Parker still out indefinitely with a hand injury, San Antonio could use a boost in the scoring department, something Granger would definitely help with.
The Clippers are also both being mentioned as an option for Granger and that make sense too. The Clippers second unit is not the greatest so that is certainly a feasible scenario. The 30 year-old has never played alongside an all-star point guard, let alone a superstar one, so playing with Chris Paul could be pretty enticing.
Chicago, Houston, and Miami are reportedly the other players in the hunt for Granger’s services, but none of those options seem to make sense. Granger would get very limited playing time with the Heat, and the Bulls and Rockets don’t seem to be as playoff ready as the Clippers, Heat, and Spurs. It should come down to the Clippers and Spurs vying for Danny Granger, with the Spurs making the most sense.
Jimmer Fredette -
We are only three years removed from Fredette being selected 10th overall by the Kings after a stellar collegiate career at BYU. Since coming to the NBA though, the sharpshooter has seen both his point totals and minutes decrease by the season. This season Jimmer is averaging 5.9 points per game in a miniscule 11.3 minutes per game. With the point guard’s rookie contract almost up, the Kings have finally decided to let Fredette free, after almost 3 years of rotting away on the Sacramento bench.
While there’s a chance a playoff team could take a flier on the 25 year-old, I see him as a better fit on a young team in rebuilding mode. The knock on Fredette throughout his career has been his lack of defensive ability. He is not very quick for a point guard, and is not known for distributing the ball much either, so that too limits his options as far as suitors go. Still anyone that can have performances like this will definitely get some looks from teams.
One team I think would be well advised to bring in Fredette for the rest of the season is the 76ers. The Sixers are in full rebuilding mode and have gotten by this season on young players and scooping up players from the D-League. While Michael Carter-Williams is the future point guard for Philadelphia, with Tony Wroten proving to be a legitimate backup, Fredette could still get minutes on that team. Brett Brown was brought in as a coach primarily to develop young talent, so he could definitely help teach Fredette how to improve his all around game. There is absolutely no risk in signing the young guard for a few months, so at this point, why not.
Another fit for Fredette would be the Orlando Magic. The Magic don’t have much depth at point guard behind Jameer Nelson, so Fredette could work well in Orlando coming off the bench, and learning a little bit from both Nelson and head coach Jacque Vaughn (a former point guard).
The option that should make sense would be the New York Knicks. Jimmer Fredette is from Glen Falls, New York, and the Knicks are desperate for a point guard as they still hope to make the playoffs, so that would be ideal. However, New York doesn’t seem to have any interest in bringing him in, as the team reportedly just signed Earl Clark and Shannon Brown to 10-day contracts. If the Knicks don’t make a move for the BYU alum, I think Philadelphia would be the best fit for Fredette. Give him a few months there, and fans certainly won’t be falling asleep at games anymore.
That being said, if the Lakers signed Jimmer, Mike D’Antoni would be the happiest man alive. Imagine Fredette, Marshon Brooks, and Swaggy P on the same team. Talk about a “7 seconds or less,” offense! D’Antoni probably thinks that’s a championship combination right there, as long as Steve Nash is healthy of course.
Caron Butler -
Butler is currently working on a buyout with the Milwaukee Bucks, so expect a championship caliber team to at least look at him. While Butler is 33 years old, he has proven he can still have a positive impact in limited minutes. He has averaged 11 points per game this year playing a shade over 24 minutes per game. While Butler has been inconsistent for Milwaukee, he has had a few breakout performances throughout the year, including a 38 point night against the Sixers back in November.
The Heat would be a perfect fit for Butler. He could come in for 15 plus minutes a game and provide solid scoring outputs off the bench. At this point in his career, and after playing half of the year for the worst team in the league, a championship is what Butler is after. He would certainly have a great chance at winning one in Miami. There is obviously a huge veteran presence on the Heat, and Butler would definitely add to that.
Another option for him would be the Oklahoma City Thunder. While Jeremy Lamb has had his moments off the bench playing on the wing for OKC, the Thunder could use another scoring option. He would do just that on the Thunder, as Kevin Durant and company look to make a push for that elusive NBA title.
If the Spurs fail to sign Danny Granger, then Butler would make sense in San Antonio too. Ultimately, I believe Miami is the best fit for the former Wizards star. Expect for there to be a number of teams trying to sign Caron Butler though, as he is still a valuable asset for any championship caliber team.