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Weekly NBA Game Thread: Week of Mar. 22nd, 2021

Buyout SZN awaits

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Every Monday at 5:00 PM Central this all-purpose thread goes up, and the comments section is where it’s going down. This is your place to discuss all the NBA’s action happening during the week when the Bucks are off-duty.

The trade deadline looms, but it all feels like it might end up being a bit of a fizzle, eh? We’ve naturally reached the end point of the cycle of so many contending teams’ cap sheets that trying to cobble together trades out of end-of-bench player salaries and draft picks becomes nigh impossible, and so those who are making trade by the deadline are either right up against it or middling teams with an eye towards the future.

Which bleeds directly into buyout season, a time of year that, against all odds, has seemingly gathered ever more perceived importance in making or breaking the fates of teams at the top of the NBA. Maybe we’re increasing the value of guys snapped up after being bought out by their prior team because it is one of the viable ways to obtain a “name” player with a reputation of sorts at little cost. I’m not an encyclopedia, but it doesn’t feel like there have been many buyout free agents who have gone on to significantly alter the trajectory of their new team. At best, they’re a marginal value-add to a very particular segment of your team strategy. At worst, they’re Pau Gasol in Milwaukee.

I get why there is excitement around buyout season as the last chance to adjust your roster, and there is a thrill in trying to outcompete the contenders for a sought-after guy’s signature. Just don’t let what the Bucks or any other team does cloud the fact that the vast majority of the group who will dictate their fate is already on-hand.