4:27pm: Bertans’ release is now official, per NBA.com’s transactions log. According to Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link), the 29-year-old has already reached an agreement to sign with Russian club Khimki.
3:04pm: According to his agent, Arturs Kalnitis (Twitter link), the Pelicans will waive guard Dairis Bertans. Per Kalnitis’ tweet, it appears unlikely that Bertans will be claimed off waivers by another NBA team.
The news isn’t entirely unexpected, as the Pelicans would have had 17 players on standard contracts after the team’s trade for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart, reported trade for Derrick Favors, and reported signings of J.J. Redick, Darius Miller, and Nicolo Melli all came through.
Teams are permitted to have as many as 20 players on their roster during the offseason, but the Pelicans didn’t have the necessary cap space to sign Redick and trade for Favors without trimming some salary from their roster. By waiving Bertans, the Pelicans now figure to be able to complete those two deals, depending on the value of the first-year salary of Redick’s new contract.
Based on my math, the Pelicans can sign Redick to a starting salary of $12,853,641 after waiving Bertans (assuming Melli is signed with the room exception). With standard 5% raises, the total value of Redick’s contract would be just under $26.35MM, which is in line with the reported $26.5MM value.
As for Bertans, the 29-year-old Latvian will likely return to Europe after his one-year stay in the NBA, where he averaged 2.8 PPG in 12 games with the Pelicans.