Brendan Haywood is hitting the free agent market and teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Suns, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers could be potential landing spots after his release from the Portland Trail Blazers, as some teams are looking for some depth up front for rosters into the end of the summer.
Haywood was a trade target all offseason because he had a non-guaranteed contract and after being moved for trade exceptions, he is now a target for teams as a free agent. According to Pro Basketball Talk, the Blazers announced that they have waived Haywood and once he clears waivers, he will be allowed to sign with another team. Haywood had a $10.5 million contract and now his trade along with Mike Miller has created trade exceptions for the Cavaliers this year. Mike Miller is also expected to be waived by the Blazers.
Haywood did not play much last season, but he could be a solid depth option for teams in need of a big man. The Knicks have reportedly been interested in adding another big man for the last month, while the Lakers, Bulls and Rockets also have a need on the roster. The Knicks signed Robin Lopez this offseason and also traded for Kyle O'Quinn, but Cole Aldrich left for the Clippers and Phil Jackson may want some more size on the bench.
The Lakers are also a potential landing spot for Haywood, as the team has Roy Hibbert and Robert Sacre as the centers on the roster for the season. Robert Upshaw could get the chance to win a job in training camp, but GM Mitch Kupchak has said that he likely will not be a factor for the Lakers this season. The team signed Brandon Bass and they also have Julius Randle at forward, but Sacre is not much of a backup and Hibbert is coming off of a disappointing season with the Pacers and the team could use some more depth.
The Bulls have Joakim Noah as the main center on the roster and while the team is stacked at center, there is not much there to back up Noah. The Bulls could look at Haywood if Nazr Mohammed retires and reports have the backup center contemplating that this summer. The Suns were looking at adding another big man in free agency after signing Tyson Chandler and they could look at Haywood as an option, while the Boston Celtics also could be a fit. Haywood is not going to be a starter, but he can be a solid end of the bench option for many teams as a backup center.
The Cavaliers made the move with Haywood to help sign players like Matthew Dellavedova and potentially JR Smith and now Haywood is ready for another team. Last season Haywood was in a reserve role for the Cavs and he only played in 22 games, averaging 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds in 120 total minutes. The Cavs have Anderson Varejao and Timofey Mozgov so they did not need Haywood and they now have two trade exceptions after the deal with Miller and Haywood to the Blazers that they can use this season. The Toronto Raptors previously looked at Carlos Boozer and also could be an option.