Boston Celtics: team’s sights should be set on the buyout market

After much speculation and buzz the Boston Celtics remained quiet at this year’s NBA trade deadline. What might their next steps be moving forward?

Despite all the hubbub of “what could be” leading up to this year’s NBA trade deadline the Boston Celtics opted to go the boring route — they stood pat. Whether you agree with Danny Ainge‘s approach or not, the fact remains that they saw no trades that were worth making.

Looking at the current state of Boston’s roster, however, many of us here at the Houdini believe they do not possess enough talent to contend with the other top-tier teams come playoff time. Milwaukee is clearly a trouble, being they just went to the Eastern Conference Finals last season and currently hold the league’s best record of 43-7.

The Miami Heat bolstered their squad’s talent and leadership this deadline by landing 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.

And, the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that has proven to give the Celtics problems (despite their last outing) the entire season, even improved upon their roster by adding two talented scoring wings in Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III.

To be honest, one could attest that the Boston Celtics have now somewhat fallen behind all three of these aforementioned teams in regard to postseason odds. But just because they didn’t end up making a move by February 6th, it doesn’t mean they can no longer add players to their roster.

Like New Years follows Christmas, the NBA’s trade deadline is followed by a very valuable marketplace: the buyout market.

Typically speaking, after the deadline passes, many players — both forgettable and valuable — wind up being let go from their current employers. Here, CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn explains the buyout process in depth:

A buyout occurs when a player and team mutually decide to part ways. The player surrenders an agreed-upon amount of his guaranteed salary, and in exchange, is released and allowed to sign with any other team as a free agent. If a team buys a player out, he cannot re-sign with or be claimed off of waivers by that team for one year or until the end of the contract that was bought out, whichever comes later.

That clause typically lasts one year, though, as buyouts on multiyear deals are a rarity. Typically, the kind of player that gets bought out fits the following criteria:

  • Is in the final year of his contract.
  • Is a veteran whose age, injury history, declining skills or positional redundancy limits his
  • original team’s interest in retaining him as a free agent in the upcoming offseason.
  • Is currently on, or traded to before the deadline, a lottery team that has little to gain by employing such a veteran for the remainder of a season.

The motivations are simple for both sides. The team is able to save a bit of money. The player is allowed to pick a new team that better suits him at that moment. Usually, they are motivated either by a desire to compete for a championship or a chance to play more minutes on a roster that better suits them in an effort to increase their value as a free agent in the offseason.

This season, we could realistically see guys like Tristan Thompson and Isaiah Thomas — homecoming anyone? — hit the open market.

This potential list doesn’t stop there, however, as other names like Reggie Jackson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Evan Turner too could find themselves jobless in time.

Again, this trade deadline may have been seen as boring for some Boston Celtics fans. And, yes, other teams in their conference managed to upgrade, while they remained — though already talented — stagnant.

But fear not C’s fans, for the buyout market could potentially hold some serviceable assets to help Beantown on their quest to championship number 18 in 2020.

Next: Pros and cons of an Evan Turner reunion
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