The Portland Trail Blazers may need to use their last roster spot to help cover for injuries. The buyout market is usually a great place every year where teams can pick up guys on one-year deals, or the last year of their contracts.
Usually, if a player is unhappy, or if they aren’t in the team’s rotation, their contract can be amended slightly and then cut from the team. The team saves a little money on salary by agreeing to a lesser dollar amount, but the player can get a new rest of the season contract with a new team. Then they don’t lose out on any money themselves.
Though the Blazers have a winning record at 12 and 9, they are clearly short-handed at every position and have had well-documented struggles on the defensive end.
With one spare roster spot, and just enough room to stay under the luxury tax, they should look to be in the running for buyout guys.
Remember, the commitment to these players is half a season’s wages, so around a million dollars. The Blazers aren’t signing buyout guys to long-term deals.
Which 3 players should the Portland Trail Blazers hope get bought out?
Portland Trail Blazers buyout candidate one – PJ Tucker
P.J. Tucker has been touched on as a player that could help many teams in the NBA. The six-foot-five power forward is one of the best defenders in the league, and is currently on a Houston Rockets team that is treading water.
Since James Harden was traded, the Rockets have won some games, but with their roster construction not making a lot of sense, and the massive haul of draft assets they now possess, I can see them blowing things up.
Though Tucker is 35, his two-way play makes him such an attractive prospect for NBA teams. He is one of the best role-players in the league. He makes more corner threes than any player not named Stephen Curry, and can play as a power forward, or a hybrid five.
Tucker would likely accept a buyout if the Rockets weren’t bringing him back next year. I think that there is a strong chance they don’t bring him back. Tucker is a piece for a playoff team, not a team that is rebuilding in the West.
Though the Blazers likely wouldn’t bring him back in 2022 if he joined them this season, he could show enough in a playoff run to increase his value in the free agency period of 2021.
Tucker could be used as a backup four or five with the Blazers’ struggles on defense and their injury toll. His ability to do all the dirty work required of a big, alongside hitting threes from the corner, make him an invaluable piece for a playoff team. We broke down his great fit with the Blazers, earlier in the season.
The Rockets are one of the cheapest teams in the league, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they wanted to save a buck by buying out Tucker.