Clippers sign Branden Dawson, get hidden savings

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The Clippers entered the 2015 NBA draft without any picks, but they bought the No. 55 selection – used to draft Branden Dawson – for $630,000.

The former Michigan State forward has played well in summer league, so the Clippers aren’t letting their investment go to waste.

Clippers release:

The L.A. Clippers announced today the team has signed forward Branden Dawson.

Presumably, Dawson got a minimum contract, because that’s all the Clippers have to offer. They’ll get extra savings because they drafted him rather than hoping he’d sign as undrafted free agent.

Undrafted players making less than the minimum salary for a third-year player ($947,276) count toward the luxury tax at the minimum salary for a third-year player .

Drafted players making less than the minimum salary for a third-year player ($947,276) count toward the luxury tax at their actual salary.

So, Dawson – whose rookie minimum salary is $525,093 – will count just $525,093 toward the luxury tax as opposed to $947,276 if he had been undrafted but received the exact same contract.

Considering the tax bracket the Clippers project to reach, that’s a tax savings of $1,055,458 – more than they paid for the draft pick used on Dawson.

On the court, Dawson is a steady defender and rebounder with glaring holes in his game, mainly shooting and dribbling. He could find situational minutes behind Paul Pierce and Wesley Johnson.