The Indiana Pacers are down to the final five days to try to trade point guard T.J. Ford.
Their alternative option if Ford is not moved by Thursday's trade deadline is to offer the point guard a buyout for the second time in less than a year.
Both parties know a buyout will likely be discussed if a trade doesn't happen by the 3 p.m. deadline, but neither side has yet to talk about a dollar amount.
Trade talk has been minimal thus far but is expected to pick up once All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony's situation gets resolved.
That's when the Pacers will have a better indication if they'll have a real opportunity to move Ford's expiring contract.
A sticking point with a buyout, if it comes to that, is that Ford has to agree to it.
Ford said he won't agree to a buyout unless he knows a team will sign him and he'll be able to make up the difference in salary he's going to lose in the buyout.
The Pacers could hold onto Ford, who is still a productive player, and let his contract expire, but team officials want to give him an opportunity to play elsewhere and start working for his next contract.
Barring a rash of injuries at point guard, it's highly unlikely that Ford will play again for the Pacers this season.
Last summer, the Pacers offered Ford a buyout for $3 million less than the $8.5 million he's making this season. The New Orleans Hornets were expected to sign him to be All-Star Chris Paul's backup had he agreed to the buyout.
Ford quickly shot down the Pacers' offer, choosing to take his chances with them even though he has no future with the franchise.
Ford began the season as Darren Collison's backup and even had former coach Jim O'Brien calling him the team's best defensive point guard.
But as was the case last season, O'Brien took Ford out of the rotation in the middle of last month.
Ford has played a total of 10 minutes in the past 16 games.
"By making the decision (of sitting me), I would hope that's the case," he said last month about being traded. "I don't see why it would be best for me to be here the whole year. That's their call. Either way it goes, I'm here and I'm going to still stay ready because anything can happen at any given moment."
A Ford/Pacers divorce will speed up the process even more for rookie guard Lance Stephenson to see action for the first time this season.
Ford has been on the active roster in front of Stephenson in several games since his demotion.