We're currently in the eye of the trade deadline storm. Honestly though, it's been less of a storm and more of an early morning mist so far. Aside from Xavier Tillman getting traded to the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons-Kevin Knox breakup (it's not you, it's us), it's been relatively tame. Although it's not even nine in the morning yet, so there's still plenty of time left for me to be wrong.
Per the deadline, teams can acquire players until 3:00 p.m. on Feb. 8 — today. But, if your team doesn't make a move by this deadline, don't panic. Even though teams cannot trade after this date, they still have time to acquire players who can help them down the stretch. How? Simple — the buyout market.
What's the deadline for buyout players to be on playoff rosters?
If a player is a free agent, or their contract was bought out or waived, they can sign with another team. However, players must sign with their new team by March 1 to be eligible for the postseason. If a player is waived after that deadline, that player can still sign and play for a new team. However, they just won't be eligible to play in the playoffs.
Markeiff Morris, for example, was with the Detroit Pistons to start the 2019-20 season. However, after being bought out by the Pistons, Morris signed a $1.75 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. As we all know, the Lakers eventually won the championship that season and part of that was thanks to Morris' contributions.
Six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry of the Charlotte Hornets is currently one of the hottest names in the buyout market rumor mill. Lowry landed in Charlotte two weeks ago, after the Miami Heat traded him away for Terry Rozier and a 2027 first-round pick. The Detroit Pistons' Joe Harris is another name being tossed around.
In light of this, if any contenders are considering Lowry, Harris, or anyone else on the buyout market, they better make sure that paperwork is done by March 1.