The 2021 NBA trade deadline is just around the corner, and several NBA players have been linked to teams looking to bolster their rosters.
Although the chatter around the league is more focused on players who could be traded, interestingly, players who could be bought out is also worth paying attention to.
Recently, the Detroit Pistons reached a buyout agreement with six-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets for the remainder of the NBA season.
Five players who are likely to be bought out by the NBA Trade Deadline
The situation with the buyout market will become clearer as we approach closer to the NBA trade deadline. However, here are five players who are rumored to be bought out.
#1 Andre Drummond
The Cleveland Cavaliers announced on February 15th, 2021, that Andre Drummond would no longer play for the team.
Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that the Cavaliers are trying to find a suitable team for the big man. Drummond has a $28.7 million expiring contract, which is why it's tough for the Cavs to find a trade partner.
Andre Drummond has been heavily linked with the Brooklyn Nets, the LA Lakers and the New York Knicks.
In 25 games he has played for the Cavaliers, he averaged a whopping 13.5 rebounds per game. Whichever team he lands in would get a significant boost in grabbing boards and protecting the rim.
The Knicks appear to be frontrunners to acquire the 27-year-old big man.
#2 LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge is another veteran big man who has been the subject of a host of NBA trade rumors.
As the NBA trade deadline approaches, several analysts believe he could reach a buyout agreement with the San Antonio Spurs.
On March 10th, Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported that the Spurs and Aldridge have mutually parted ways, and the forward will be away from the team till a resolution is reached. Coach Gregg Popovich spoke in this regard:
"We've mutually agreed for him to work on opportunities elsewhere...He's done everything we've asked...At this point, we'd just like to do something that will work for him as much for our club, because he deserves that."
With one year left on his deal, which is worth $24 million, a trade just for the sake of it is not a viable option. Since Aldridge's salary is quite high, the San Antonio Spurs could be compelled to take players they don't need or ones on terrible contracts if they decide to trade the player.
If he gets bought out, the Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics are expected to pursue him, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
#3 JJ Redick
The New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick has been inactive for a while. He has played 31 games so far and is currently recovering from a heel injury.
Redick has one year left on his contract worth $13 million. Many sources indicate that the 36-year-old guard is expected to be be bought out by the Pelicans.
Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on JJ Redick's status and the 76ers potential pursuit of him, saying in this regard:
"JJ Redick could be an option for the Sixers in the buyout market. According to a league source, Redick is expected to get bought out of his contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. Redick wants to play for a team close to his home in Brooklyn. So the Sixers could be a option."
In an offensive-heavy era of the NBA, one can never have too much shooting. The Miami Heat, the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets have also emerged as solid candidates to acquire the sharpshooter.
Mark Berman of the New York Post previously reported that Redick would like to be traded to the Knicks or Nets if the Pelicans opt to move him.
If the Brooklyn Nets acquire Redick, there would be a display of shooting and scoring, the likes of which haven't been seen before.
JJ Redick spoke to Kevin Durant in a podcast last September about how he much he wants to win an NBA championship.
#4 Hassan Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside is another big man who could get bought out.
Marc Stein of the New York Times has reported a list of potential buyout candidates, and Hassan Whiteside is one of them.
The center has barely played for the Sacramento Kings this season. In just 28 games, he has averaged only 15 minutes per game while recording an average of eight points, six rebounds and 1.4 blocks per outing.
According to several NBA rumors, the LA Lakers have Whiteside as a buyout target.
As per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, several NBA teams think the Lakers could target Whiteside or JaVale McGee to complement their 5 position.
#5 DeMarcus Cousins
Veteran center DeMarcus Cousins is the lowest salaried player on this list; he is on a $2.3 million contract.
The Houston Rockets have announced that he has officially parted ways with the team, as reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN. He was subsequently waived by the team on February 23rd, 2021. In the 25 games he played for the Rockets this season, he recorded an average of 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and LA Lakers are reportedly interested in the services of Cousins. There have been a lot of chatter regarding whether Cousins and the reigning NBA champions would reunite.
He got injured before the NBA season started and didn't suit up for the LA Lakers last year.