Funny story. Yeah, it's pretty much happening.
First of all, let's be clear. I said it wouldn't happen because the Clippers wouldn't be stupid enough to get nothing for him. Since he had significant trade value, it only made sense to trade him and get SOMETHING in return.
But they didn't trade him. So it turns out they ARE stupid enough to get nothing for him, since that's exactly what happened. So it's not me that's stupid - it's the Clippers. Are we clear on that?
Now that the trade deadline has past, the question of getting something for him is moot. I'm still at a loss for why they didn't trade the guy, but we are where we are.
Jonathon Abrams posted a story on the LA Times website this afternoon where Cassell confirms, for the first time, that there are buyout talks going on. Not that we didn't know that already I guess.
"They've been discussing it, so what more can I say?," said Cassell, 38. "Both parties are getting to a number and saying, 'OK, this is what we'll do it for.' I just want to be treated fairly."
Cassell's contract pays him $6.1M this season. NBA contract payments are prorated based on a 170 day season. March 1 (the date by which this buyout has to happen if Cassell is to play in the postseason for another team) is day 123 of the NBA season. By my math, that means Cassell is still owed $1,686,470, so all that's happening now is David Falk and Donald Sterling are haggling over a number somewhere between $0 and $1,686,470. And of course Sam will get some money from whatever team he signs with. So if they're truly just debating the final number, then it's going to happen. Because, while it's a lot of money, let's face it - by NBA standards it's not a lot of money.
And as I mentioned in the game preview, the fact that David Falk also represents Elton Brand gives the Clippers plenty of incentive to play ball on Cassell's desires.
It's also more than a little interesting that MDsr told Dain Blanton in a tunnel interview before the game that Cassell was going to play, but Sam didn't even dress. Hmmm.
Incidentally, I mentioned earlier today that there's a lot of misinformation out there about waivers and playoff rosters, etc. Well, at the end of the Celtics game (when he wasn't talking about his babies) Mike Smith said something that was COMPLETELY WRONG.
Here's what he said:
That's not correct. All that has to happen is that he has to be waived by March 1st. He doesn't have to clear waivers. He doesn't have to sign. He just has to be waived.
Which he will be. Dammit.