Top buyout candidates after the NBA trade deadline

(Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies – Marc Gasol (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

After a busy trade deadline, the Toronto Raptors currently have multiple roster spots available. Here are the top buyout candidates the Raptors should pursue.

The dust has finally settled on a crazy NBA trade deadline. The Toronto Raptors were largely expected to be quiet this trade deadline. That…. did not happen.

A Marc Gasol trade, a Greg Monroe trade, and yes, even a Malachi Richardson trade, leaves Toronto with MULTIPLE open roster spots that will be filled prior to postseason play. One area where they will look to find available players, the buyout market.

A franchise will buyout one of its players for a number of reasons. The team may have been trying to move that individual at the deadline, but could not find a trading partner. They may have picked a player up in a trade, but do not see them contributing to the direction the organization is heading. The team may have a high paid player that they would like to avoid paying the total remainder of his salary.

So far this season there have already been a few buyouts. They include Carmelo Anthony from the Atlanta Hawks, Tyson Chandler and Austin Rivers from the Phoenix Suns,  and Kenneth Faried from the Brooklyn Nets. These players all agreed to be waived from their team and gave back part of the salary they would have earned if they finished out their contract with that organization. The player has to then clear waivers, making them an unrestricted free agent.

The Toronto Raptors will have an eye on finding upgrades through the buyout process. NBA teams are allowed a maximum 15 roster spots for the playoffs, including two players who remain inactive per game. Since the Raptors busy trade deadline, it opened multiple spots on the Raps roster. They are sure to be looking to fill that space with an addition whom they believe can move the needle, especially in an area of need.

There is a precedent to believe that the Raptors can find their ideal player. In 2013 the Miami Heat signed Chris “Birdman” Anderson, who provided big minutes and presence on their way to winning a championship. In 2016 the Warriors sign Anderson Varejao who they brought with them to the NBA Finals.

Even as recently as last season, big-name players were bought out and found new landing spots on competitive teams. Former Raptor, Greg Monroe left the Suns before joining the  Boston Celtics. Joe Johnson was signed by the Houston Rockets after he was bought out for the second time in his career. Marco Belinelli was waived by the Hawks last year before joining the Philadelphia 76ers to become an important member of their rotation.

Here are the best remaining players the Raptors can pursue should they be waived this season.