Andre Drummond to LaMarcus Aldridge: Top 5 Players Available In The NBA Buyout Market

Published 03/26/2021, 11:51 PM EDT
Jan 25, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond (3) drives between Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and center Montrezl Harrell (15) in the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA trade deadline concluded a day ago. While multiple teams like Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls did make some big moves, the biggest names like Los Angeles Lakers or Brooklyn Nets were fairly silent.

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But these teams will certainly be back at full capacity in the upcoming buyout market. Take a look at the top five players who might be available in this year’s buyout market.

5) Hassan Whiteside

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Whiteside has been a solid rotational center in the NBA for quite a while now. After having some decent seasons with the Miami Heat, the 7’0″ center joined Portland in the 2019-20 season.

In a single season with the Blazers, Whiteside unleashed his true potential, averaging 15.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per game.

December 17, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings center Hassan Whiteside (20) celebrates a basket against the Golden State Warriors during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

But he hasn’t been given the same role in the Kings. Given that Sacramento is not even a playoff team at this point of time, Whiteside can be useful for other more competitive teams in the league.

Considering he has only played 28 games so far, there is a real possibility of him being bought out. Teams like the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, and even the Charlotte Hornets, who are in a massive playoff push, can use a player like Whiteside to protect the rim and even grab multiple rebounds.

4) Otto Porter Jr.

Otto Porter Jr. is another veteran forward who is having a disappointing 2020-21 season. The 27-year-old has been plagued with multiple injuries; as a result, he came off the bench this season for the Bulls.

Dec 18, 2020; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) compete for a loose ball during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

But in 2018-19, Porter showcased his true potential as a starter for the Bulls, averaging 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game at 48.3 percent shooting. He can also be a viable 3 and D guy defending multiple positions on the court.

Magic and Porter might not agree about a buyout right now; however, if a contender or a playoff team approaches, it might change very soon. The Magic won’t mind clearing Porter’s massive $28.5 million from their books, and the teams targeting him will get a quality backup.

3) DeMarcus Cousins

When the Houston Rockets brought in DeMarcus Cousins from the free agency this season, it seemed like we might see the old Boogie back. But that clearly wasn’t the case as new signing Christian Wood took center stage and limited Cousins to a bench role.

Jan 2, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Houston Rockets reacts following a call during the first quarter of a game against the Sacramento Kings at Toyota Center on January 02, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Frustrated with the lack of minutes, the veteran center decided to part ways with the team. The 31-year-old is now a free agent, opening up opportunities for other teams to capitalize.

Given his ability to hit the jump shot, and the decent rim protection he brings to the table, he can be a great addition to any frontcourt. A probable team that comes to mind are the Blazers. Given the massive injuries to back up big men, Cousins can come in handy for Portland.

2) LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the biggest names available in the buyout market. The 35-year-old might have had a productive stint with the Spurs, but he is seeing a major drop off in his production this season. He is currently averaging 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.

But given his immense experience, he can be a great addition to any contender. He was recently bought out by the Spurs, and the Miami Heat are the favorites to sign the veteran center.

Another potential teams interested are the Nets. Coming off of the bench, Aldridge can easily lead any team’s second unit and could start too. If he can regain some of his old form, the 35-year-old can be a steal for anyone.

1) Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond is the player majority of the contenders are targeting right now. The 27-year-old is currently at the peak of his powers and can be the starting center for any contending team.

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Drummond has currently been bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Moving forward, the Lakers are the favorites to land the big man. Considering the lack of a rim-protection they have this season, Drummond seems to be the perfect answer.

The other potential suitors for the 2-time All-Star are the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks.

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These free agents can certainly make a massive difference in any team they sign to. Considering the abundance of talented players available in the NBA buyout market, it will be interesting to see the moves teams make in the next few days.

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Aditya Mohapatra

682 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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