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How Players Fared Financially In Buyouts

Ten players relinquished part of their salaries in buyout deals between the trade deadline and Tuesday’s de facto buyout deadline, and none of them have benefited financially as much as David Lee has. The 11th-year veteran gave up just $458,575 of the $15,493,680 he originally had coming to him from the Celtics and scored a deal worth the $2,085,671 that the Mavericks had left on their room exception, a profit of $1,627,096. Add to that the tax advantage of working in Texas, a state with no income tax, instead of Massachusetts, and it’s easy to see how the Mark Bartelstein client has every reason to be glad about his new team.

The others on this year’s buyout list didn’t fare nearly as well. Steve Novak, another Bartelstein client, gained $8,017 between his Nuggets buyout and Bucks contract, but he’s the only player other than Lee known to have come out ahead. Kris Humphries pulled off an even exchange, while everyone else so far appears to have lost money. The enchantment of the Heat loomed large, as Beno Udrih relinquished $90K to help the Heat avoid the tax, and with an injury that’s expected to keep him out until at least May, his prospects are bleak for finding a contract to offset that loss. Joe Johnson signed a deal that gives him $2,585,519 less than what he gave up from his Nets contract to play in Miami. That’s the largest loss in terms of raw dollars among those recently doing buyouts, though Florida is another state without an income tax, so that’s a mitigating factor.

It’s possible that other players will arrange buyouts between now and the end of the season, but less motivation exists to do so, since Tuesday was the final day for players to hit waivers and retain eligibility to participate in the playoffs with another team.

Here’s a look at the known financials of the buyouts from the past two weeks. The figures reflect pretax amounts.

* — The amount of Minnesota’s obligation to Miller went down by $256,333 as part of the buyout deal, but that doesn’t account for any reduction in the amount the league pays Miller. The 17th-year veteran was on a one-year contract for the minimum salary, so the Wolves were only responsible for the equivalent of the two-year veteran’s minimum salary, worth $947,276 for the full season. The NBA was to pick up the tab for the difference between that and Miller’s full $1,499,187 salary for veterans of 10 or more years, but it’s unclear how much the league avoids paying as a result of the buyout.

The Basketball Insiders Salary Pages were used in the creation of this post.

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6 thoughts on “How Players Fared Financially In Buyouts

  1. rxbrgr

    Can teams re-sign players they waive in the same season? There was word the HEAT may save their 15th roster spot to sign someone the last day of the season. It’d be interesting if they circled back to Udrih at that point and signed him to a vet’s min. deal with a player option for next year. Seems like a way to pay him back for the buyout.

    • Chuck Myron

      Yes, they can re-sign players they waive, and it wouldn’t shock me to see the Heat do a new deal with Udrih, though it would raise eyebrows around the league, I’m sure.

      • No they can’t resign him till his orginal contract ends or he becomes a free agent (both the same). Therefore the heat can’t resign udrih till the off season

        • Chuck Myron

          I believe that’s only for traded players, Haran.

  2. Dana Gauruder

    Put it this way: I’d be surprised if Udrih doesn’t get another contract from the Heat, probably during the offseason. Otherwise, there’s no logical explanation for what he did.

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