The market accelerates: Tucker, Ariza, Gordon, Aldridge ...

Next week the market closes and the movements behind the scenes are constant. There will be trades before the buyouts.


March 25, Thursday of next week, is the hysterical deadline, the closing of the NBA transfer market. The day on which the deadline to carry out operations with players who will be able to play the 2021 playoffs ends, which in the atypical pandemic calendar will start on May 22. Before, between 18 and 21, the new play-in will be deputized, with an expanded format with respect to the Florida bubble, the first experiment with this new system of access to the last places for the qualifying rounds.

After March 25, only players can be added via buyout, those who are cut by their franchises and become free agents, a common formula if a transfer agreement could not be reached to obtain something before releasing a player taking over a large part (everything except what he grants in the negotiation) of the salary. During these days, teams with no options or with a mind set on the future will try to free up salary mass and get cards for the future (young players, draft rounds) while the contenders for the ring, or those who want to become aspirants , they will look for the hit of effect that repeats or multiplies their options. These are, according to the latest reports from journalists such as Sam Amick and Shams Charania, the movements that are taking place behind the scenes:

HARRISON BARNES: The Sacramento Kings forward has been considered for weeks one of the great candidates for a change of scene, with the Boston Celtics as a possible destination. Danny Ainge, the architect of the greens, has acknowledged that they want to move and that they prioritize finding "a high forward who scores from the outside." However, it seems that the Kings are not as keen to do a trade with Barnes as some have imagined and that it would take a very juicy offer for him to leave California.

KYLE LOWRY: Kyle Lowry is a legend in the Raptors, where he has been playing since 2012. But he is about to turn 35 and will be a free agent in the summer (he makes more than 30 million dollars this season). With the Raptors in a lower profile in the East than in past seasons, his name was also in many pools, with the Sixers as a possible destination since the point guard is also a native of Philadelphia. However, Lowry says he wants to stay with the Raptors and the franchise could honor the wish of one of its most important players in the great stage of its history, including the 2019 ring. Furthermore, his $ 30.5 million is a huge problem. for whoever wants to get hold of it via transfer. And the buyout is certainly not an option.

PJ TUCKER: The veteran Rockets power forward is coming out of a rebuilding franchise and everything points to a ring contender. He is 35 years old (he will turn 36 during the playoffs) and ends his contract at the end of the season (7.9 million very manageable this year). He has already left the discipline of the Rockets, with whom he has reached an agreement to stay out of the team, which accumulates 16 losses in a row, until his future is resolved. His suitors are the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers, and they already seem out of others who sounded like the Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets, which has been done with Blake Griffin. The problem for now is that the Rockets continue to press hard on their claims: an important player and a first round of the draft. The normal thing is that the final price that PJ Tucker costs is much lower.

JOHN COLLINS: The Hawks power forward rejected an offer of more than 90 million to stay in Atlanta, and since then his situation has been closely followed in the face of this market closure. In the summer, he is expected to ask his new team for a contract worth a minimum of $ 25 million a year. A lot of money. According to Charania, the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves are interested, and the Hawks want to speak to anyone who can help unblock a situation that could end up seeing the player leave without receiving anything in return. Collins is averaging 17.8 points and 7.6 rebounds this season.

ANDRE DRUMMOND: The Cavaliers want to trade the center ... his suitors want him to pass on March 25 and finish as a free agent via buyout. Those suitors are two of the top title contenders, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets. Drummond earns $ 28.7 million in his final year on his contract, an obstacle even though the Cavs would settle for a modest second round to avoid a buyout. The Knicks also have an interest in the pivot.

GEORGE HILL: Base 34 is in OKC Thunder, where it obviously doesn't fit the reconstruction arc Sam Presti maps. He has a manageable contract (9.5 million, team option for next season) and enough experience to help a candidate in the playoffs. The Clippers, who would benefit from adding a playmaker, are a destination that would be a perfect fit.

AARON GORDON: The Magic, in a season marked by a plague of injuries that has downplayed their expectations, may be sellers this next week and a half. Only a gigantic offer would cause the departure of his all star, center Nikola Vucevic, but there are also many rumors Evan Fournier (in the last season of his contract), Terrence Ross ... and Aaron Gordon, a star project that has remained in good shape. player and that with 25 years and a contract that is not exaggerated (more than 34 million between this season and next) could change of scene to try to maximize his potential. The Timberwolves and Blazers sound like possible destinations.

LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE: He has reached an agreement with the Spurs to find an exit that Texas wants to be via transfer, of course. And there is talk of up to five franchises interested in power forward, seven times all star and already in decline but still with weapons to help an aspirational team. The problem, as with Lowry, is that he charges $ 24 million in the last year of his contract. The trade is thus more complicated, and the buyout is an option that the Spurs want to avoid at all costs, so they will look for a feasible operation before the market close next week. Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers, his former team, are the most interested.

VICTOR OLADIPO: A complex case. Oladipo was breaking into a star when a complex injury left him standing and afterwards he has not recovered his best level. He ended up with the Rockets in the James Harden trade and will be a free agent at the end of the season because he has not accepted the offer from the Texans in the long term. His level is poor for his pretensions, with little efficiency in attack, and in the midst of a crisis of results the Rockets could try to receive something for him before having a problem with his possible continuity at the end of the course.

JJ REDICK: The veteran (36-year-old) Pelicans shooter is on the market but his exit is likely to come via buyout. He charges 13 million, he is clearly downhill but his wrist is still very interesting for those aspiring to the ring ... especially if it is for the minimum and once the market is closed. It seems unlikely that Redick will finish the course in New Orleans, where there could also be news regarding a Lonzo Ball in a great moment of play ... but that he will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, a problem because of his claims for a team that already signed a maximum to Brandon Ingram and will have to sign another to Zion Williamson. Eric Bledsoe is also on the market, but he has no serious suitors (he will collect 18.1 million next season) .

NEMANJA BJELIÇA: The Serbian is another regular in transfer rumors but, for now, he is still in the Sacramento Kings. At 32 years old, his 39% in triples in the NBA is juicy for anyone looking for a tall forward, rebounder and with good wrist. Among his suitors are the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors ... In the Sacramento Kings, meanwhile, the message for the caller is clear: only De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton are untouchable. They are willing to talk about the rest.

TREVOR ARIZA: The veteran forward is in the Thunder without playing and the franchise is looking for a trade before a buyout that would be inevitable. The Lakers' interest has been a constant buzz since the season began.

WAYNE ELLINGTON: The Pistons shooter is on the market. Its 42% in triples is a great option because its price is also low: it could be enough until a second round.

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