The Wizards have said all along that Mike Bibby would really have to pay to get his freedom. In the end, he did, big-time. Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Bibby was willing to waive his entire $6.2 million salary to get bought out from the Wizards.
Guard Mike Bibby agreed to give up entire $6.2 million salary for the '11-'12 season to get buyout with Wiz to play for winner, source says.
That's relatively unprecedented in today's NBA. The only players I can remember that were willing to sacrifice as much money from their existing contracts were Antonio McDyess in 2008 with the Nuggets to go back to Detroit ($6.8 million plus $800k for one more year) and Rasheed Wallace to retire after last year ($13 million over two years). My understanding is that this means Bibby has been completely wiped away from the team's 2011/12 payroll, which means that Ernie Grunfeld also saved $6.2 million in the trade. That makes the deal a whole lot better.
I realize some get put off by the idea of a player asking to get let out of his contract, but if Bibby really didn't want to be here, then it's not worth keeping around with a bunch of young players if you can lower his cap figure. As it turns out, the Wizards did that and a whole lot more. So really, I can't get upset. If anything, I'm happy at Bibby for opening up an additional $6.2 million in cap space next season.
UPDATE: The Wizards have signed Mustafa Shakur for the rest of the season, writes Michael Lee.
Also, for those asking, the Wizards' 2011/12 payroll is about $24.6 million for seven players, not including the qualifying offers for Nick Young, Yi Jianlian, Al Thornton, Cartier Martin and Hamady N'diaye. If the Wizards pick all those up, which is a necessity if they intend to use their rights to re-sign them, that will jump their payroll up to just under $40 million. And I'm dumb: the $40 million does not include the qualifying offers. So it's $40 million before all of those. It's impossible to know how much cap room the Wizards will have because of the new CBA coming into play.
UPDATE: The Wizards will still have a $1 million cap hit on Bibby's salary, according to Michael Lee.