Washington’s large amount of guaranteed money (over 50% of his overall contract for this year) meant that the Pistons could have kept him on until the league-wide contract guarantee date of January 10th, without having to pay him a single extra penny outside of meal stipends. Waive him yesterday, and he’ll cost $250,000; waive him on January 6th, and he’ll still only cost $250,000.
I didn’t think the contract was guaranteed at all, but A. Sherrod Blakely of MLive reported in August that it was.
So does that mean a two-for-one (or three-for-two) trade is coming? ShamSports offers another explanation:
The only risk to keeping Washington would be if he were to get seriously injured, at which point Detroit is bound to keep paying him until he’s healthy again. This annoying if justified stipulation caught Miami and Orlando last year, who became stuck with paying fully guaranteed contracts to Jason Richards and Mike Wilks respectively after they both suffered bad knee injuries in training camp. But that risk is minimal, and it’s even smaller if you consider that Washington was only scheduled to be an inactive list talent.
In these economic times, that might be enough to persuade Joe Dumars to waive Washington. But you should still upgrade your trade threat levels to red for a couple days.
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