Here's the brief and to the point press release:
CLIPPERS WAIVE JASON HART
The Los Angeles Clippers today waived guard Jason Hart.
In 28 games played this season, Hart averaged 2.3 points, 1.5 assists and 11.1 minutes per contest. Over his eight-year NBA career, Hart has recorded averages of 4.9 points, 2.3 assists and 16.1 minutes per game.
The Clippers acquired Hart from the Utah Jazz on July 23, 2008 in exchange for guard Brevin Knight.
There's a certain symmetry to the fact that Hart was waived on the day of the Sacramento game. It was almost exactly two years ago (March 1, 2007, to be exactly exact) that Sacramento waived Hart so that he could join the Clippers for a playoff run in the aftermath of the Shaun Livingston injury.
I've forgotten all of the details, but the reason these buy outs happen in late February / early March is so that players can clear waivers and join other teams in time to be eligible for playoff rosters. That's why Marbury finally agreed to a lower buy out amount in New York. He wants to be in the playoffs, and after March 1 it's too late.
Did Hart give some of his contract money back to the Clippers so that he could sign with the Nuggets and play point guard in the playoffs as Chris Tomasson told the Pest was going to happen? Probably. As we've said for months, there was no real reason to keep Hart around. He's dropped to something like 6th on the point guard depth chart with the signing of Fred Jones and the return of Mardy Collins and Mike Taylor from injury, not to mention the trade for Alex Acker, who is at least an unknown quantity as opposed to Hart's all too known limitations. We wondered why they didn't waive Hart rather than Cheikh Samb as part of the Acker trade - now we know. He wasn't willing to give back some money then, but not that Denver is interested, he is.
Are the Clippers going to use their now available roster spot? Probably not. I don't think this was about that, and barring more injuries, I don't see minutes for anybody else. But, they do have the spot now if someone suddenly becomes available. Maybe we can sign Nick Fazekas when the French season ends.
We questioned the return of Jason Hart to the Clippers at the time he was traded for Brevin Knight. Not that Knight would have been significantly better, but he made a little less, and cap space was precious at the time, so it always seemed like a dubious decision. In retrospect, Hart's second stint as a Clipper was beyond worthless. He was frequently hurt, and is one of the few players in the NBA actually shooting a WORSE percentage than Baron Davis. One wonders what Denver wants with a guy who is shooting below 30% for the season. They must be really disillusioned with Anthony Carter right now.