As expected, early this evening Ben Wallace agreed to a $10 million dollar buyout of his current $14 million dollar contract. The Suns will save $8 million dollars next season from the buyout, $4 million payroll and $4 million luxury tax if they are a taxpayer again.
When the Suns acquired Wallace from the Cavs in the Shaq deal it was expected that he would not play a single game for the Phoenix Suns, but Wallace was considered a valuable trade piece. Rumors were swirling that the Suns would try to trade Wallace’s expiring contract for an active big man, i.e. Tyson Chandler, but that proved to be pure conjecture. The idea of Chandler blocking shots and boarding next to STAT was appealing, but apparently not appealing enough for the Suns’ front office.
Suns fans, myself including, already started penciling Chandler into the 2009-10 Suns’ starting lineup, but it is clear the Phoenix was not sold on his health and his $12.5 million dollar 2010-2011 salary. The Suns certainly could use another big body down low, but after the Wallace buyout, that big man will not be Tyson Chandler.
One trade chip from the Shaq trade has already been cashed in, but the Suns still hold on to the very valuable contract of Sasha Pavlovic. Pavlovic is slated to make $4.95 million this coming season; however only $1.5 million of Pavlovic’s contract is guaranteed. So if the Suns do wish to waive the Serbian swingman they will save a total of $18 million dollars from the Shaq deal, assuming they are a taxpayer.
While the Suns are expected to waive Pavlovic, he could serve as extremely valuable cap relief for any team looking to unload salary. I would expect several Pavlovic trade rumors to hit the mill in the next coming weeks, but ultimately I think the Suns will simply waive him.
Although it is depressing that the Suns most likely gave Shaq away for cash, Robert Sarver got some money back in his pocket and Steve Kerr got the Suns some “flexibility.” No Tyson Chandler is somewhat disheartening, but that $12.5 million dollar 2010-11 salary may have been just as painful.
Frye officially inks with the Suns
Although forward Channing Frye had already agreed to sign with Phoenix, the Suns made it official this afternoon. Frye will make approximately $4.07 over the next two seasons; the second year is a player option. Frye will be introduced to the Phoenix media Tuesday afternoon at US Airways Center.