February 28, 2011
In yet another sign that player agents either really believe that the NBA will lose games to a lockout next season, or that player agents are at the very least hedging their bets on a shortened schedule next season, ex-Grizzlies/Kings/Hawks/Wizards guard Mike Bibby(notes) has reached a buyout agreement with the Washington team that traded for him last week.
This early in the game, we don't have any details as to the specs of the buyout, exactly how much of the remainder of Bibby's salary he gave back, but NBC Washington's Dan Helie is reporting that the buyout has been completed.
Bibby was due to make $6.4 million next season, and he's in the midst of earning $5.7 million this year. The veteran guard clearly believes the up-front cash handed to him by the Wizards to forfeit the remainder of that deal, coupled with any money that he'd earn by signing with a new team for the rest of 2010-11, and whatever he earns in 2011-12, are enough to risk giving up guaranteed cash coming from the since-bought out contract he signed in 2009.
And what would any prospective NBA team pick up, should it sign Mike Bibby for a playoff run? A great shooter, as Bibby is hitting over 44 percent of his 3-pointers this year, but little else. Bibby is a terrible defender at this point in his career, he doesn't penetrate or create much, and he's a terrible finisher in the lane.
But in an offense where a wing player does most of the ball-handling, as is the case with Kobe Bryant(notes) in Los Angeles or LeBron James(notes) in Miami, Bibby's spot-up talents could help a team. For spot minutes, of course.
Just don't bank on him to pick up the tab for lunch anytime soon.
UPDATE: Wow. According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, Bibby gave back every penny of his 2011-12 salary to play for a winner. That is astonishing news, and don't think Bibby and his representatives aren't aware that the best he'll possibly make next season with a new team is half of the $6.4 million (or $6.2 million, reports vary) he was due to earn.