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Report: Some NBA agents threaten small-market teams if they don’t buy out players by saying they won’t bring them players

Andre Drummond
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

A number of star players have moved from small market teams to big market teams via buyouts this season.

One small market general manager told Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated about the pressure some teams face from agents if they don’t buy out their players.

“It’s very, very hard for the small markets or mid markets to say we’re not gonna buy you out,” said one small-market GM, “because you can’t get players there anyway. If you don’t do them favors, an agent will say, ‘I’m not gonna bring my guys to you.’”

Earlier this year, six-time All-Star Blake Griffin conducted a buyout with the Detroit Pistons and signed with the star-studded Brooklyn Nets.

Griffin, 32, was joined by big man LaMarcus Aldridge, who did a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs and fled for Brooklyn as well. The Nets are loaded with stars James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Griffin and Aldridge.

The Cleveland Cavaliers also felt the wrath of not being able to trade a player and having to resort to a buyout. The Cavs recently agreed to a buyout with center Andre Drummond, who took his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Teams, such as the Pistons, Spurs and Cavs, are not known to lure big superstars in free agency.

As a result, it’s sometimes in their best interest to appease agents and players in order to enhance their chances of looking better in the future.


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