The All-Star game has come and went leaving the trade deadline looming right ahead. Less than 24 hours are remaining on the countdown, and trade rumors are and will be continuing to swindle in.
Not as widely reported are the speculation of those veterans which will be bought out of their contracts, if not waived, and be available to sign with any team that they so choose to do so. Last year, we had the Clippers snagging in and swooping up Glen Davis and Danny Granger.
So far, the Dallas Mavericks have reportedly agreed to terms with Amare Stoudemire, the former All-Star, who split with the New York Knicks and will bolster the Mavs front-line, hoping to band-aid the gap left when Dallas traded Brandan Wright to the Boston Celtics in the Rajon Rondo trade.
The biggest buy-out name is easily Larry Sanders, the big man from Milwaukee. Two years ago, Sanders was ranked as the best defensive big man in the entire association. His love for marijuana has, since, cost him fines and suspensions, leading to his buy-out from the Bucks.
Sanders could come in and make any contender better. Period. The Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder are the top of the line squads that could really benefit from a healthy, focused Sanders, and now, the decision awaits fully on Larry. Playing time will be a key focus for the big man, as with receiving a $13 million buy-out doesn't hurt his pockets.
Kevin Martin, one of the key parts of the James Harden to Houston, is another name to watch out for. The 32 year old shooting guard is averaging over 20 points a game for the tanking Minnesota Timberwolves, who may be reluctant to let Martin walk without receiving any sort of compensation.
If the Clippers deal Crawford, as expected, Rivers should be expected to make a quick call to Martin's agent. The Portland Trail Blazers could also use a boost off the bench. Along with those two, I can see the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards making a late push for the veteran.
Tayshaun Prince, the former NBA champion and stout defensive veteran will be expected to split from the Boston Celtics, after the Memphis Grizzlies traded him out the mediocre side. To team with his defense, Prince is a solid shooter to help spread the floor, and his awareness to make the right decision is among the tops in the association.
Brandon Bass is another veteran big man that is uncertain to be released, though, the possibility is still pretty solid. Averaging 9 and 4 off the bench in Boston, Bass can provide great energy on both ends of the floor with his high motor. His basketball awareness is also as great as can be.
Jameer Nelson can provide a great boost off the bench to run spot time off the bench. He plays solid D, but his issues with staying in control.
Kevin Garnett could be a buy-out victim as well. The definite Hall of Famer and former NBA Champion may be out of Brooklyn soon, and could provide a solid dozen, or so, minutes for a contending side with hopes of winning his second ring.