Several veteran players have been waived by their respective teams since Thursday’s trade deadline, with guard Marco Belinelli, forward Joe Johnson, and big man Brandan Wright receiving buyouts. As those vets prepare to sign with new teams, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link) passes along details on how much money they gave back to their old clubs.
According to Wojnarowski, Belinelli gave up $300K to get out of his deal with the Hawks, Johnson surrendered $1MM in his buyout agreement with the Kings, and Wright gave up $776K to the Grizzlies.
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As Woj observes in his tweet, a player who agrees to buy out typically does so knowing that he’ll earn back most or all of his lost salary once he signs a new deal. With that in mind, it’s worth noting that Wright’s buyout amount doesn’t appear to be arbitrary — if he signs a minimum salary deal with the Rockets today, Wright will earn approximately $776K for the rest of the season with Houston.
Since Belinelli, like Wright, has at least 10 years of NBA experience too, his minimum salary deal would also be worth about $776K if completed today. Those two contracts would count for only about $490K against the cap. As for Johnson, if he signs with Houston on Tuesday, he’d earn about $763K on a minimum salary deal, with a cap hit of approximately $482K.
Johnson, whose salary had been $10.5MM+ before his buyout, apparently agreed to give up a little more salary than he’ll earn the rest of the way with the Rockets. But that trade-off is certainly worth it, since he’ll make the move from the NBA’s worst team to the club with perhaps the best shot at knocking off the defending-champion Warriors.
As for Belinelli, his relatively modest buyout signals that the Hawks were ready to move on from the veteran and hand his minutes over to younger players. He’ll come out ahead financially after signing with the Sixers.