If you look around the league, there are some pretty good players on some pretty bad teams. These players are more than welcome to enjoy the monetary value of their contract, but if they wanted to fold and sacrifice some cash on a competitive opportunity, some contenders would love to greet these players with open arms.

Some players have chosen their team in Free Agency and their franchise is reaping the effects of a bad contract. Others were traded through sign and trade or before the deadline. Some teams miss that spark. We saw Blake Griffin provide that for the Nets last season. Which player could do that for 2021-2022? These five players are interesting buyout candidates and these are their best fits.

Ricky Rubio – Phoenix Suns

2020-2021 stats: 8.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 6.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.1 BPG

After an outstanding performance at the Olympics, Ricky Rubio must think his worth has increased. There had to be teams watching, hoping Rubio could agree to a buyout with the remaining $ 17 million. The Timberwolves are going bad next year and Rubio’s salary is too high for a backup point guard, making a buyout the most sensible option if Rubio is looking to fight for a title.

In 2019, Rubio signed a three-year, $ 54 million deal with the Suns. In his first year playing under Monty Williams, he averaged a career high in points (13.0), distributing 8.8 assists per game. Cameron Payne is a much better shooting guard than Landry Shamet, which would allow Payne to switch from one guard to the two guards to make way for Rubio. With aspirations for the NBA Finals, Rubio is a proven veteran who could immediately contribute with a trusted team.

Thaddeus Young – Milwaukee Bucks

2020-2021 stats: 12.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Thaddeus Young - Milwaukee Bucks

There were times when Thad Young was the Chicago Bulls striker. Last year he shot a career high of 55.9% off the field while his assists were also the best of his career. Young is one of the better post players who can pass the ball. At 33, he doesn’t offer much value to a Spurs team trying to play younger players.

However, it offers astronomical value to a Bucks team trying to defend its title. Pat Connaughton is technically the backup shooting guard and small forward despite Grayson Allen. Regardless, Young is a much more complete player in small forward and can even play a little power forward if necessary.

Goran Dragic – Dallas Mavericks

2020-2021 stats: 13.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4.4 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Goran Dragic - Dallas Mavericks

After sign-and-trade with the Toronto Raptors with Kyle Lowry, no one expects Dragic to really play for the Raptors in the long run. His best option is to find a sales contract so the 35-year-old can join a competitor. His best fit would be the Dallas Mavericks given his connection to Luka Doncic.

Dragic is from Slovenia, just like Doncic. At the moment Trey Burke is Doncic’s backup. Not a slap on Burke, but Dragic can not only deliver a better game of basketball but also provide an element that the rest of the team cannot attribute to his nationality. If Dragic is bought out, it would seem like an easy decision.

Kevin Love – Los Angeles Lakers

2020-2021 stats: 12.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Kevin Love - Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers’ theme is to recruit older veterans, so why not a 32-year-old former All-Star in Love who won a championship with LeBron James in 2016 back to her time in Cleveland. In the present, Love’s numbers have gone down due to injuries. Love has played a total of 103 games over the past three years.

The Cavaliers didn’t find a trading partner for Andre Drummond last year and we saw how that played out. Love owed $ 31 million that year and $ 28 million the following year. Love could negotiate a buyout to try and win another championship. If he were to be bought out, joining the Lakers would make the most sense because of his ties to the team.

John Wall – Los Angeles Clippers

2020-2021 statistics: 20.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.8 BPG

John Wall - Los Angeles Clippers

Wall will make over $ 44 million this year and has a $ 47 million player option for the next year. That begs the question. How much is a championship worth to you? At the moment, the Clippers are struggling with star power due to the expected absence of Kawhi Leonard this season. Wall only played 40 games last season before closing, but he posted respectable numbers on the court.

The problem with Wall is that he doesn’t stay on the pitch. Wall has played a total of 113 games in the past four years. It appears to be the healthiest one he has had since 2018, but it’s not worth over $ 40 million. Even so, the Clippers have a hole at the point guard with Reggie Jackson about to begin. Jackson is better suited for the bank, while Wall and Paul George would make an interesting tandem.


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