Luke Ridnour waived by Raptors, looks for 6th team to join this summer

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At 12:18 a.m. ET on Thursday — about 17 minutes after the DeAndre Jordan fiasco finally wrapped up, for those of you who chart time by emojis and hostage situations — veteran power forward Luis Scola shared his own bit of NBA free agent news:

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But finding the $3 million that Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski reported it would take to bring the 35-year-old Argentine to Canada meant the Toronto Raptors had to make another move:

... and, as former Brooklyn Nets executive Bobby Marks correctly surmised, that means this summer's most frequently packaged asset's about to add yet another metaphorical stamp to his contract's passport:

Weep not for the end of the Luke Ridnour Era, Torontonians. For all intents and purposes, it never actually existed.

The Raptors are now the fifth team to move on from Ridnour in the last 16 days, a remarkable whirlwind of ostensibly theoretical activity that saw the 34-year-old veteran point guard traded three times in 24 hours and four times in a six-day span.

Luke Ridnour's on the move again. (Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images)
Luke Ridnour's on the move again. (Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images)

He moved from the Orlando Magic to the Memphis Grizzlies to the Charlotte Hornets to the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Raptors, each of whom coveted him not for his productivity on the court (four points, two assists, 1.4 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game for Orlando last season) or his leadership in the locker room, but rather because his $2.75 million contract for the 2015-16 season is totally unguaranteed, and doesn't become guaranteed until July 11. That means any team that acquires him can use him as a chip to match up salaries with a prospective trade partner or waive him and instantly create $2.75 million in cap space. It's a no- or low-cost path to free cash, some additional deal-making flexibility and/or an open roster spot to add a new piece or sign a draft pick.

While some players might harbor at least a bit of resentment at becoming the NBA's hottest potato and being treated more as an attractive line item on a spreadsheet than as a human person, Ridnour seems to be taking all the transactional chaos in stride:

In fact, he told USA TODAY's Jeff Zillgitt that it hasn't really affected his life all that much:

"I've got a lot of texts from friends and family worried about us," Ridnour told USA TODAY Sports from his home on a lake on suburban Seattle. "It really hasn't affected us at all. It's been pretty funny ...

"Honestly, not much has changed." [...]

The 12-year veteran is considering at least another NBA season, and he and his agent, Jim Tanner, have looked at potential teams with which he could sign. But retirement is a possibility, too.

"I'll look at the situation and see if it's something that's worth my family and me moving to and see if I'm going to keep playing or not," he said. "That's where my mind has been."

On one hand, it'd be nice to see Ridnour catch on somewhere and get the chance to have the last lines of his NBA story relate to what he was able to contribute to a team on the court and in the locker room. On the other, though, if Ridnour decides he'd rather not go through the rigamarole of uprooting his wife and four young sons for what would likely be a short-term, short-money deal — not to mention the grind of getting his body ready for what would likely be a limited role in a 13th NBA season — it's hard to imagine a more uniquely interesting final chapter. Either way, we'll be watching the wire for Luke Ridnour news far more intently as the summer wanes on than anybody would have expected at its start.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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