Buyout Business: Where They Fit Best




VIDEO: Caron Butler lights it up off the bench for the Bucks, where will he do it next?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Last week’s NBA trade deadline was just Phase 1 of the late-season player grab for contenders looking to upgrade in certain areas and give themselves a push in the right direction with the playoffs on the horizon.

Phase 2 is the buyout market, when teams lock up veteran help at an area of need when teams start purging their rosters of players that were moved last week or veterans on lottery-bound teams in search of work with a contender. And that means we switch our focus from superstars who were rumored to be traded (yes, you Rajon Rondo and Pau Gasol) to those players who were actually moved or probably should have been (guys like Danny Granger and Caron Butler, headliners in the buyout market).

Now it’s just a matter of matching the right player with the right team …

DANNY GRANGER TO THE … LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

The Pacers didn’t have any use for Granger with a younger and much cheaper option available in Evan Turner, but plenty of other teams are interested in adding him to their mix for the remainder of the season and playoffs. He reportedly spoke, via phone, with five different teams Thursday, per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Granger explored the possibilities with the Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls. A free agent-to-be this summer, Granger knows that the work he does between now and June, should it last that long, is as a temp. He’ll have time to find the long-term fit in the summer, which takes some of the pressure off right now.

ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelbourne has more on why Granger picked the Clippers:

Former All-Star forward Danny Granger has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks all made a run at Granger, but ultimately he chose the Clippers late Thursday night because they offered him the best opportunity to play meaningful minutes for a contender.

Granger hopes to play Saturday when the Clippers host the Pelicans, a source said.

By signing with the Clippers, he will become the second veteran player coach and senior vice president of player personnel Doc Rivers has recruited to the team in a week. Last week Rivers outrecruited several other teams to sign forward Glen Davis, after he was bought out by the Orlando Magic. Davis played for Rivers in Boston, where they won the 2008 NBA championship and lost in the 2010 Finals.

The Clippers traded Byron Mullens and Antawn Jamison last week to create roster spots to pursue players such as Granger and Davis, who were likely to be bought out. They also backed out of late trade discussions with the New York Knicks for injured swingman Iman Shumpert and guard Raymond Felton. Both decisions look prescient a week later.

The unique thing for Granger is he’s going to get work with the Clippers the same way he would have gotten it with the Pacers, off the bench as a veteran scorer-for-hire. Granger coming off of that Clippers’ bench alongside Jamal Crawford and others is a dangerous proposition for the opposition. And if J.J. Redick‘s injury issues linger, Granger could always work as a starter alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, giving Rivers a boost no one saw for the Clippers before Granger was sent to Philadelphia at the final hour of last week’s trade deadline.

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CARON BUTLER TO THE … OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

The race for Butler’s services has turned into a battle between two teams that could very well end up battling for the ultimate prize this season. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, are the leaders for Butler. They both have a need for a quality veteran to help work on the perimeter. Butler’s career began in Miami and he has institutional knowledge of how to operate in the Heat’s system. He could slide right into the mix with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and crew and fit in well. But the chance for more meaningful minutes might actually come with the Thunder, where Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook could use another wise vet with a championship ring (Butler won his with Dallas) to help with some of the heavy lifting.

Butler was not on the active roster when the Mavericks won that title in 2011 (and the Mavericks went through both the Thunder and Heat to snag the Larry O’Brien trophy that year). Butler would bring some balance to the Thunder’s attack and his ability to defend on the perimeter would also take some pressure off of Durant, depending on the matchup, in critical situations. He’s a good fit in both place but needed more in Oklahoma City.

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VIDEO: Jimmer Fredette works his magic against the Knicks

JIMMER FREDETTE TO THE … CHICAGO BULLS

The rumblings of a Fredette move to the Bulls started early Thursday, courtesy of a report from ESPN’s Marc Stein. It would be an odd marriage considering the Bulls’ defensive-minded focus and Fredette’s allergy to anything defensive during his time with the Sacramento Kings. But if Fredette wants to continue his playing career in the NBA and not abroad, proving himself as a contributor and key component for a rugged playoff outfit coached by Tom Thibodeau would do wonders for his cause.

The Bulls need the scoring help, particularly on the perimeter and from a shooter with Jimmer’s range. And he’ll get a chance to learn the fine art of true team defense playing for a coach and a team, led by All-Star center and defensive backbone Joakim Noah, that could very well save the No. 10 pick from the 2011 Draft.

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METTA WORLD PEACE TO THE … SAN ANTONIO SPURS

World Peace has nine NBA lives. Who’d have thunk it a decade ago when his career was hanging in the balance? This is admittedly more of a guilty pleasure exercise for us than it is a necessity for the Spurs, but the potential World Peace and Gregg Popovich chemistry experiment is one that would keep social scientists up at night trying to figure out how it works. Metta proved during his run with the Lakers that he was capable of folding himself into the fabric of a championship outfit. He could do it again with the Spurs and Pop, who has made an art form of integrating veteran role players into the right spot in the rotation.

Seemingly every contender on both sides of the conference divide need help at the three, so Metta could see the interest in his services pick up when Granger and Butler make their decisions. He’s not necessarily a great fit in Miami or with the Clippers, but he’d be an intriguing fit with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and the Spurs.


VIDEO: Danny Granger shows that he still has some bounce left in those legs

37 Comments

  1. okc2014 says:

    I like Caron Butler to OKC. The Spurs and Coach Pop will not for one minute be amused by Ron Artest and his “alien ways”. Maybe he he can bring some life into this oh so boring team.

  2. mikmaks says:

    All these upgrades won’t help these teams in such a short time. Team chemistry is so much important.

  3. mikmaks says:

    No team in the West can beat the Heat 4 times anyways. Only one team has a chance which is also in the East which is the Pacers. All these upgrades are quite too late. Building team chemistry is so much important and these teams don’t have enough time to do that.

  4. Brendan says:

    awesome good moves for the clippers thank you doc keep it up this is our year.

  5. steve says:

    i thought granger wanted to join a contender?

  6. Sandeman says:

    Are the Heat looking to sign someone? or just no one wants to join them? Every other contender is making upgrades, I’d like to see the Heat at least defend their title, right now I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

  7. JT says:

    More and more obvious players want to be coached by Doc…, pulling off Big Baby and D Grange and booting old man Jamieson and nuthin Mullins ….! Talk about a two week upgrade a thon! The clippers are starting to look like destination LA NBA!

  8. yoo mamma says:

    i don`t like your same commericals

  9. No Joke says:

    Good job Clips! Now, it’s time to handle some major business on the court.

  10. Shaq says:

    The new champion clippers

  11. dunkmycat7 says:

    Hey MASAI
    how come you aren’t in there pitching, a few of these guys could help us in the playoffs…

  12. George Turner says:

    Danny Granger to the Clippers is going to a solid move for. He need to resign with them his spot is open for the taking go Clips. Great move Doc

  13. c man says:

    granger tp c;ips. I hope so. hope doc pligs him at 3 right away lets see if he can do it. starting unit would be awesome . griffin paul Jordan Crawford and granger. I like it the bench would have collision barnes Dudley davis and jj? hope crawfords calf is 100% when he returns. this team should be dangerous

  14. Julio says:

    Cant wait to see Pop screaming in the Ron Artest’s ears…hahahah

  15. famman says:

    Although I would prefer the bulls try and pick up a 4 ,Jimmer could be very interesting. If anybody can get him to play some D, Thibs is the guy, and his 3 point shooting (47%) is just what this team needs

  16. JPlus says:

    I like the choices so far but send mwp to the grizzlies that will be an dangerous team to face if you place him in the starting lineup. Defense will be ferocious in the grindhouse

  17. joe says:

    granger will fit in great with the clippers dudley is not performing well and they granger off the bench or starting for jj while he’s out he will strenthen their bench exstreamly barnes is up and down granger will be a solid fit!

  18. Elesa says:

    Fredette’s parents want him to sign with NY.

  19. Emmanuel says:

    I read “Both have need for a quality veteran on the perimeter” in reference to Miami potentially signing Caron Butler. Lets see, they have Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Michael Beasley, and lets go ahead and count D.Wade and LeBron as “quality perimeter veterans”. I swear these writers just say whatever. They need quality defensive rebounding.

  20. q says:

    I think the bulls would be perfect for Jimmer, Bulls are very good at player development, makes good players out of late draftpicks, and if jimmer wants to stick around in this league, has to learn how to defend.

  21. E-SY says:

    Love the idea that Granger went to the Clips! If they don’t look out, they end up at the #1 spot before the play-offs begin! And let Ron Artest go to the Spurs and be a bug in that system…

  22. Karlo Garcia says:

    We need a player like the Jimmer Fredette @ the Denver Nuggets. I could see him in the right fit for the team. He’s can create his own shot & in transition.

  23. dustydreamnz says:

    The Clippers seem to be getting better every week and now they’ve picked up Davis and Granger they’re looking more ominous.
    I really want to see Fredette get some good minutes to see what he’s capable of, don’t mind where he goes.
    I think Butler will go to the Thunder.
    MWP will be lucky to find a team, would be hilarious if he goes to the Spurs.

  24. LordP says:

    The Heat should get Caron Butler, i love His toughness,he is an excellent catch and shot..that would be deadly with James on the court..i can see Him givin us quality minutes of the bench..he can also defend part time on the best player of the opposing team to give some rest to LBJ or Shane Battier..For sure Riley going to make the right move cause he’s all bout winning the treepeat!In Riley we trust!!

  25. BLOCKA says:

    Granger should have went to the Rockets, but good choice anyway. Don’t know how he’ll fit into the lineup since CP3, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford, and others pretty much dominate Clipper minutes.

    Fredette to the Bulls sounds OK. He should probably play for a young team where he can get more minutes like Golden State or the Charlotte Bobcats.

    World Peace to the Spurs is a toss up really. Metta should go to a team that is not full of veterans, but has a balance of both veterans and young players. Maybe Metta would fit in on the Rockets roster.

    And for Butler…go back to the Heat if that’s where he started. OKC won’t use him as much when substitutions are concerned. The Heat will probably use him more.

    • BLOCKA says:

      Well maybe Metta to Dallas…

      • John says:

        The Rockets already has a good SF name Chandler Parsons. Danny want to be a starter in a team with a chance for a ring. The Clippers is the only choice. It’s sad how Jared Dudley started the year as a starter and ended as a third string bench-warmer.

      • krishawn-MIA says:

        But the rockest bench isn’t that strong I can definitely see granger gettin minutes at either sg or sf

    • justsayin says:

      He’ll fit at sf – the one position you didnt mention, holmes!

      And both starting sg are injured so may even see time there.