In fact, speculation is growing about where each player will land after a buyout.
The league believes – numerous teams that I’ve talked to believe – that Andre Drummond is headed for the Lakers if slash when he gets bought out. And there’s a growing belief that LaMarcus Aldridge, the leader for LaMarcus Aldridge is the Heat.
So much can change by Thursday’s trade deadline. Drummond and/or Aldridge could get traded. The Lakers or Heat could make deals that change the teams’ situations. Other teams’ dealing could make them better fits for Drummond or Aldridge.
But sometimes, these post-buyout signings get worked out well in advance.
Drummond has already been linked to the Lakers if bought out. He’d provide more size, above-the-rim finishing and rebounding at center with Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell and Markieff Morris. Drummond has some bad habits (shot selection, defensive lapses), but playing with LeBron James on a championship contender would probably bring out the best in Drummond.
Similarly, Aldridge has already been linked to the Heat and could provide depth. Miami’s Trevor Ariza trade, which took Meyers Leonard‘s expiring contract off the table, makes an Aldridge-Heat trade even less likely. But off a buyout, Aldridge could add a scoring element that Kelly Olynyk and Precious Achiuwa don’t provide behind as bigs behind Bam Adebayo.