The Memphis Grizzlies bought out Gorgui Dieng, and these three NBA teams should capitalize on it.
After a league-record 16 trades went down at the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline, the activity isn’t over just yet; the buyout market is only beginning to unfold, and several contenders who didn’t have the means to make moves at Thursday’s deadline are prepared to re-enter the fold depending on who’s available.
On Friday, the Memphis Grizzlies bought out Gorgui Dieng, who was playing out the final year and $17.3 million of his four-year, $64 million contract. While that deal was a massive overpay, Dieng has become underrated since, wasting away on bad Minnesota Timberwolves and rebuilding Grizzlies teams despite being a capable defender and 3-point shooting big man.
Now that he’s available, it’s Gorgui Dieng — not LaMarcus Aldridge or Andre Drummond — who deserves to command the most attention on the buyout market among big men. Drummond’s gaudy double-double averages and Aldridge’s reputation as an experienced veteran will probably draw more interest, but Dieng’s ability to space the floor and defend the rim in a backup role should not be overlooked.
Though he’s only averaging 7.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in his 16.9 minutes per game this season, he’s also made 51.9 percent of his looks, including 47.9 percent of his 3-pointers (on 2.2 attempts per game). He can help any playoff team at a cheap price now that he’s been bought out, and while there should be more than just three suitors, these are the teams that need him most.
Honorable Mentions: Phoenix Suns, LA Clippers, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors