Should the NBA prevent top buyout players from signing with the best teams?

  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
  • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
  • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

Time for another edition of the NBA mailbag.

Throughout the NBA season, I will be answering your questions about the latest, most interesting topics in basketball. You can tweet me directly at @kpelton, tweet your questions using the hashtag #peltonmailbag or email them to [email protected]

This week we take a look at:

  • Investigating whether the quality of players available via the buyout market is getting better over time

  • DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo, together again

  • A possible application of the Elam Ending

Should the league be more preventative in avoiding top talent becoming available in the buyout market? It does seem like the talent of the buyouts goes up slightly every year.

— James B.

This question comes in the context of the recent debate about whether the buyout market needs changes after Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge signed with the Brooklyn Nets and Andre Drummond signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, giving those star-studded teams former All-Stars making the veteran’s minimum.

As my ESPN colleague Bobby Marks tweeted, buyout players flocking to big markets isn’t typically what we see in practice. Remarkably, neither New York team had signed a buyout player in the past 10 seasons before the Nets’ additions, while the Lakers have seen nearly as many players (three) head elsewhere after buyouts as they’ve signed (four) over that span.

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