With the NBA trade market closed for the rest of the season, the Philadelphia 76ers and the rest of the league have now shifted their attention towards the buyout market. Considering the Sixers made just one move at the trade deadline, many expect Philly's President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey to get active in the buyout market.
Morey didn't guarantee another signing a few nights ago when he addressed the media following the trade deadline. However, he did mention that if the 76ers land a prospect through the buyout market, the team will likely go big.
So, when the Memphis Grizzlies bought out veteran big man Gorgui Dieng, many assumed the Sixers would try and land him. Well, according to The New York Times' Marc Stein, the Sixers indeed tried. Unfortunately, it seems they were unsuccessful.
They weren't the only ones in the busy market for Dieng. The New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, and the Brooklyn Nets all reportedly expressed interest in the veteran, per Stein.
In the end, Gorgui Dieng chose none of the above. Instead, the veteran big inked a deal with the San Antonio Spurs. Buyout prospects typically choose to land with championship-contending teams. Considering the Spurs are 23-20, near the bottom of the Western Conference's playoff picture, Dieng's choice came off as questionable.
But on a personal level, it makes sense as he'll have a guaranteed role with the Spurs before hitting the open market this summer. The 31-year-old veteran would've been a solid addition to the Sixers who could use a backup center/power forward. In 22 games this season, Dieng averaged 7.9 points-per-game, shooting 47-percent from three on 2.2 attempts-per-game.
Had the 76ers landed Dieng, they could've replaced Mike Scott, who has been struggling offensively. In the end, the veteran chose to take on a guaranteed role in San Antonio. While Philly could've carved out a spot for Dieng in the rotation, for the time being, it's unclear if he would've had minutes in the playoffs when Doc Rivers will inevitably begin minimizing the numbers of guys in the rotation.