The trade deadline has come and gone, and with it comes the start of buyout season, when veterans on expiring contracts angle their way to new homes with the hopes of competing for a championship.
There’s no better place to do that this season then in Los Angeles, where the Clippers have two empty roster spots and minutes for the taking, especially now with two starters out with injury. Chris Haynes reported on Inside the NBA Thursday that the Clippers are expected to get meetings with two of the premier free agents: Andre Drummond and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN previously reported that Drummond would consider joining the Clippers after being bought out by the Cavaliers. However, at that time, Drummond’s list also included the Lakers, the Celtics, the Nets, and the Mavericks. The Nets and Mavericks have now been replaced by the Hornets and the Knicks, with New York as a front-runner given the team’s ability to sign Drummond to a long-term deal rather than a contract to finish out the season.
Aldridge is another former All-Star who finds himself as a free agent since his team elected to replace him with a younger center. Aldridge’s offensive skill set fits well with what Ty Lue is trying to do with the Clippers, though his mobility is something of a question mark in his 15th season. The former Spurs center is widely expected to land in Miami, but he is now going to be taking meetings with the Clippers, Lakers, and Nets.
The Clippers probably don’t need either player, but keeping them away from the competition is reason enough to take part in the process. They’ll have some ground to make up on both bigs, though, since they’re not the favorite for either.
More news for Friday:
- After a dalliance that began in the offseason, the Clippers landed Rajon Rondo. I went over what the team is hoping to get from the veteran guard.
- Terance Mann is a big Rondo fan, and this is a cool story about how long that admiration has existed.
- John Hollinger lists his top 18 buyout candidates.
- Ricky O’Donnell graded all the deadline deals for the SB Nation main page.
- Alex Azzi examined the gender pay gap in professional sports.