The next dominos to fall?
Cleveland plans to waive Bogut in order to free up a roster spot to replace the big man who was brought in for his rim-protecting and play-making abilities, a team source told ESPN. Bogut plans to rehabilitate back in his native Australia with his family.
The Cavs could waive an additional player — DeAndre Liggins would be the most likely candidate — to mitigate the cost hit it would require to replace Bogut, the source told ESPN.
The Cavs plan to make their roster adjustment following their upcoming three-game road trip through Detroit, Orlando and Houston, a source told ESPN.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s reported pledge to LeBron James to spend unconditionally demands waiving Bogut to sign a useful player. Cleveland might never call on its 15th man in the playoffs, but I bet LeBron cares more about having the safety net — no matter how superfluous — than its cost.
It’s also a logical move for a team with an open championship window. This isn’t the time to cut corners. The upside is too high.
Signing another player would cost the Cavs $20,185 daily for the rest of the regular season ($5,767 in salary, $14,418 in luxury tax). There will be 30 days left in the season after their three-game road trip, which would mean a total of $605,560.
Waiving Liggins would save Cleveland money only if someone claims him. Otherwise, the Cavs are on the hook for his full salary plus the resulting luxury-tax hit. Presumably, they’d find another team that agrees to claim him before waiving him.
Another team claiming Liggins would save the Cavaliers $2,712,506 ($173,266 in salary, $2,539,240 in luxury tax).
Dropping Liggins, whether or not he’s claimed, would also open a roster spot. Filling it would again cost $20,185 daily.
Assume the Cavs use the Bogut opening to sign their top available target. After that, is there really a second free agent who’d help more on the court than Liggins? I’d probably rather just have Liggins, a defensive-minded wing.
Waiving Bogut and signing another player is only logical. That shouldn’t buy the Cavaliers leeway to waive Liggins to save money — unless they have a veteran replacement in mind who’s more ready to contribute in the playoffs. But the onus would be on them to find that player.