It should come as no surprise that the Nets are very interested in the buyout market. After the James Harden trade gave them three extra roster spots, they filled them with short-term assets, then signed Blake Griffin, the first of the big buyout candidates.
Even before Griffin was signed, Steve Nash was quite open about the Nets plan.
“The buy-out market, that is one of the reasons we want to remain flexible in my eyes to see how we can improve our team,” Nash said. “Maybe there are some teams that are set but for us, especially with the roster changed after the big trade, we have to remain flexible in order to keep our options open.”
Now, Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, in their Wednesday Draft deadline preview , put the Nets squarely in the buyout game. Woj in fact joked (?) that the Nets are “trying to gather up every former great player in the buyout market.”
Specifically, Woj and Lowe spoke about Andre Drummond, the 6’10” Cavs center who Woj called, “the crown jewel of the buyout market” and J.J. Redick, who calls a $4 million condo in Brooklyn home. Of the two, they agreed, Redick, now with the Pelicans, is the more likely to don black-and-white once the smoke clears.
On Drummond, Lowe noted that it “seems unlikely they’ll [Cleveland] find a trade for him” due to his large salary —more than $28 million. With that in mind, Woj handicapped the chances of several teams interested in signing him once he and the Cavs reach a buyout agreement presumably after Thursday’s buyout deadline.
“Both LA teams are expected to have great interest, the Brooklyn Nets, of course, they’re trying to gather up every former great player in the buyout market,” said Woj, adding that the Celtics and Mavericks are also “teams to watch.”
As others have noted, the Lakers have an advantage that Drummond may very well be most attracted to the Lakers.
“But certainly with the Lakers, he’d move right in, he’d be their starting center, I think the role would be most significant with that LA team.”
Woj noted that the Nets have both DeAndre Jordan and Nicolas Claxton at the 5. The 27-year-old Drummond presumably wants big minutes because he’ll be a free agent in the summer and would like to showcase his skills.
Both ESPN reporters strongly hinted that Redick, the 3-point specialist and locker room asset, will likely join the Nets.
“It appears we’re headed that way [Redick being bought out by New Orleans],” said Lowe of the 36-year-old who’s current rehabbing from non-surgical procedure on his heel.
“Well, we know where he keeps his offseason home, Zach,” replied Woj. “We know where he spends his time. That’s in Brooklyn. Certainly, the Nets will have an opportunity there.”
Woj also suggested that Utah might make a play because of the “great relationship” between Redick and Jazz coach Quin Snyder.
Woj used the discussion of Redick to note that Brooklyn has the roster flexibility to make offers to several buyout candidates.
“I think geography may play a big part in this,” he said of Redick, adding “Brooklyn certainly has the ability to bring in a few buyouts guy here and continue to put a roster together that’s going to have great depth and optionality in the postseason.”
On Redick, Lowe concurred, “It seems like Brooklyn is the frontrunner.”
The Nets have one open roster spot after signing G Leaguer Alize Johnson to a 10-day contract two days ago. Also, Chris Chiozza remains on a two-way deal.
Earlier Wednesday, Marc Stein laid out a number of buyout candidates, including Drummond, Redick, LaMarcus Aldridge, Gorgui Dieng and a new name, Hassan Whiteside, the Kings center.