Give And Go

What was initially seen as a slow National Basketball Association (NBA) trade deadline last week turned frenetic after some weighty deals were consummated.

And while some key players landed in new homes heading into the second half of the 2017-2018 NBA Season, some have found themselves already bought out with more expected to follow.

The Houston Rockets so far has emerged as the busiest picking up recently bought out players, reportedly set to sign up veteran Joe Johnson and big man Brandan Wright.

While they are expected to be role players with Houston, both Johnson and Wright should help the Rockets moving forward.

Johnson, who was traded to Sacramento by Utah in a three-way deal with the Cavaliers before being bought out by the Kings, should provide leadership and clutch mentally to, well, “Clutch City.”

His athleticism and consistency may no longer be crisp like those in his younger years but Johnson has shown that when called up he can still deliver here and there, which I think fits a Rockets team that already has dig-deep players like James Harden and Chris Paul.

He just needs to fill in the gaps in the Rockets’ play, something he has no problem doing with the Jazz last season particularly in the playoffs.

Former Memphis player Wright, meanwhile, adds athleticism and ceiling to the Houston front line, which already has Clint Capela, Ryan Anderson and Nene Hilario anchoring.

Bought out by Phoenix, Greg Monroe has been snatched by the Boston Celtics and has been backstopping All-Star Al Horford since.

Obviously he still in the adjustment phase with the Cs but like Johnson he can be counted on once adjusted to the system, particularly on the offensive side where he has shown he is very much capable at with stops in Detroit, Milwaukee and Phoenix previously.

Former NBA most valuable player Derrick Rose was nixed from the Utah roster after going from Cleveland.

It was another sorry turn for Rose who has not found his groove and game back after a series of injuries and personal issues.

Reports have it that Minnesota and Washington are considering signing him up for the rest of the season, locations that present themselves interesting.

The Timberwolves, under former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and feature ex-teammates Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson, should make it easy for Rose to transition and maybe inspire him to play better albeit in a limited capacity, and prove critics wrong — that he is not done.

With the Wizards, his potential partnership with All-Star John Wall is intriguing. While with the Cavs early this year, Rose actually did not suck, averaging 9.8 points, and I think he can be of service to the Wizards backcourt off the bench, spelling some of their resident stars.

Shooter Marco Belinelli is now in Philadelphia following his separation from Atlanta while defensive specialist Tony Allen was bought out by Chicago from New Orleans and said to be being considered by Oklahoma City.

Reportedly to be bought out, meanwhile, are Tyreke Evans (Memphis), Joakim Noah (New York), Channing Frye (Los Angeles Lakers) and Shabazz Muhammad (Minnesota).

From the last list, Evans presents much value and I would not be surprised if he finds his way to a new team in the event he does get released.

Teams angling to make it to the playoffs like Miami and Detroit may use his ability to create shots for himself and others while contending teams like San Antonio and Oklahoma City may find a spot for him to help propel their push.

With competition proving to be tight as the NBA hits the homestretch, I would not be surprised if teams turn to the buyout window for some support. And who knows, erstwhile cast-aside players by some may turn out to be gems for others.


Michael Angelo S. Murillo has been a columnist since 2003. He is a BusinessWorld reporter covering the Sports beat.