According to a tweet from Zach Lowe things don’t seem to be going according to plan for the Pelicans in moving Austin Rivers and now the team may be looking to waive him using the stretch provision to make the Omer Asik trade work.
Re: Bosh/HOU: Several league sources say Pelicans considering waiving A. Rivers via stretch provision to complete Asik trade.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 11, 2014
That’s just one of many routes the two teams could take. But NOP hasn’t found taker for Rivers yet in trade talks, sources say. — Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 11, 2014
For those that are unfamiliar with the stretch provision here is the breakdown from Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ:
- If the player is waived from July 1 to August 31, then his remaining salary is paid over twice the number of years remaining on his contract, plus one. For example, if the player is waived on August 1 with two seasons remaining on his contract at $10.2 million and $10.3 million, respectively, then his remaining salary is paid over five years (two seasons times two, plus one), in even amounts of $4.1 million per year.
What hurts the Pelicans the most in this situation is the decision of LeBron James to return home to Cleveland. With James leaving the Miami Heat the Rockets now are in position to land Chris Bosh on a max contract but need to move both Jeremy Lin and Asik to clear enough room for Bosh. The Rockets need to make the move as soon as possible now that Chandler Parsons has an offer sheet with the Dallas Mavericks so that the team can add Bosh under the room they have at the moment before matching Parsons and keeping him on the roster as well.
Obviously there are other ways the Pelicans can make the move work but the signing of James has accelerated things a bit for them and made things tougher. Depending on what the Pelicans had been asking for Rivers up until this point there is still hope to move him by lowering the asking price to get him off the roster or using one of their own free agents in a sign and trade. Now that James has signed the market for the rest of the free agent class should open up potentially allowing the Pelicans to acquire a trade exception in the next few days to make Asik’s salary fit.