Lakers and Nets, faced in the market: Drummond, Porter ...

On March 25 the NBA market closes and the teams seek to make their last reinforcements. Buyouts will be key: Otto Porter, Andre Drummond ...


The closing of the NBA market is approaching and the Lakers and Nets are the main interested in reinforcing their squads. They will have until March 25 to do so, when the deadline will expire and the teams will be final to face the final stretch of the season and look towards some playoffs that no longer seem so far away (they start on May 22) and that promise to be better. than a season marked, again, by the coronavirus pandemic. The Lakers, immersed in a small bump in terms of game and number of victories that they will try to alleviate after the All Star, want to complete their squad with an inside man and a forward who can shoot from outside and defend. In the Big Apple, the Nets went dry when they signed James Harden and formed their dream big three, and have since been signing players for cheap to strengthen their weakest positions. His latest arrival, you know, was that of Blake Griffin.

As it stands, with both teams paying both salaries to their stars, the buyout will be key. Recall that this term corresponds to the separation between franchise and player, through a pact carried out between both parties in which the basketball player renounces part of his salary (which varies in each case, in Griffin's with the Pistons it was 13 million) and thus becomes an unrestricted free agent. In this case, the player in question can sign until the end of the season for the minimum veteran, always prorated depending on the number of days remaining in the course. The contract for the minimum does not enter the salary cap, so once inside it, the team does not have to worry about exceeding the salary limit imposed by the NBA. In other words: these types of maneuvers are extremely useful for teams that pay a large amount of money in salaries and opt for the ring.

Right now, there are several buyout options in the League. The last one was Blake Griffin's, but others like Andre Drummond's, away from the Cavaliers dynamics, have also sounded strongly. Another option is JaVale McGee, also in Ohio, or Otto Porter Jr., who wants to get out of the Bulls. And there is Trevor Ariza, who has not even made his debut (alleging "personal reasons") with the Thunder roster, is 35 years old and had a good season last year in Portland. The Lakers are interested, a priori, all of them, although they give more importance to covering the position of forward than that of center, something for which they have more options beyond Drummond or McGee, especially with a DeMarcus Cousins cut by the Rockets and that it has sounded to return to the Los Angeles ranks, through which it passed last year without debuting. At the forward position things get complicated: Porter would be essential, defending and is at 40% in triples this season, but the Nets will push hard for a man who can come in handy to strengthen their defense and their second line.A battle between large markets

By now until March 25, we can experience a fierce battle between Los Angeles and New York, the two largest markets in the history of the NBA. In the first, the Lakers monopolized everything until the Clippers arrived. In the second, the original team was the Knicks until, in 2012, their neighbors from New Jersey arrived. One way or another, first the buyouts of Drummond and Porter have to be made official, especially the second. The center, still from the Cavs, is in full negotiations to leave a team that recently pushed him aside before a game against the Warriors to the anger of Draymond Green, who later spoke, legitimately, of a lack of respect for the player. But Porter has not yet reached that point and it is to be expected that the Bulls will try a trade and gain something with his departure that cut him and keep only a portion of his contract, no matter how much this year he is going to pocket $ 28 million. .

With Drummond, both teams would get a player who doesn't add up for 30 million a year (28 this season), but who is extremely useful at the very least. Extraordinary rebounder (averaging 13.8 in his career) has always had video game numbers that he has not been able to transfer to the game of his teams, but for less money and a role focused on catching balls and receiving the last pass, he can be perfect. We have already talked about Porter, McGee is well known in the League and has won with the Warriors and Lakers, while Ariza was victorious with the Angelenos of the 2009 ring. A priori, Porter is the most attractive of the lot (by age, absence injuries, reliability in the outside launch, defense ...), but anyone can add up. As for Cousins, now without a team, it has not sounded for the Nets, more interested in the rest of the possible buyouts. Of course, they will have to wait for, above all, if Porter will leave Chicago or not. There will be the key.More from the market

Not only the buyouts will be present between now and March 25. Bobby Marks has compiled on ESPN what each team needs and the possible moves they can make from here to the deadline. The most interesting thing will be to see if, finally, Nikola Vucevic leaves the Magic. The center, who has played the last All Star, averages 24.6 points and 11.6 rebounds in one of the best individual seasons of his career. However, the Magic are 13-23, stagnant and looking for an eternally postponed rebuild. Vucevic will earn $ 26 million, $ 24 million and $ 22 million this and the next two seasons, so they could get something out of him, get a good draft pick and free up salary space going forward. At the moment, he is the most attractive piece on the market and the Celtics have sounded like potential suitors. Danny Ainge will have, yes, to drop something big to get the pivot. And in the past you have already shown that you are not too willing to do so. We'll see.

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