New Orleans Pelicans Waive Miller, Young

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Published: November 30, 2014

Here is the press release from the team:

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has waived Darius Miller and Patric Young.

Miller appeared in five games (one start) this season for the Pelicans, averaging 0.4 points and 0.2 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per game. Selected by New Orleans in the second round (46th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, Miller has appeared in 102 career games (10 starts) over the last three seasons and averaged 3.1 points and 1.3 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game.

Young, who signed with the Pelicans as an undrafted free agent prior to the 2014-15 season, played in seven preseason games for New Orleans and averaged 1.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 9.3 minutes per game.

New Orleans’ roster stands at 13.

Both players were on deals that were reportedly only partially guaranteed. If either player is picked up on the waiver wire, the Pelicans will have no cap effects. If not, then they will. Young’s deal was only $55k guaranteed for this season, but has earned more than this. So he’s a no-marginal-cost waiving, as the cap his is just what he was paid. Miller’s deal was $400,000 guaranteed this season, so that will be his cap hit. The stretch provision has no effect here.

These waivings could indicate any number of things including:

  • A big trade
  • A medium trade
  • A small trade
  • Small free agent signings (e.g. Babbitt-like)
  • Allowing Miller, Young to get minutes elsewhere

These partially guaranteed players could have been included in trades in which teams were looking to cut salary, and they could have been used to allow the Pelicans to take back more salary than just using the remaining 13 players in trades. Trades are, of course, quite complex, and Dell Demps does not shy away from deals with many moving parts. That said, these kinds of contracts proved to be valuable trade currency this summer, and here the team is giving them away. This is at least circumstantial evidence that clearing the roster spots is more important than taking back salary. Of course, whatever trade that might be in the works may not work with those players on this roster or with them going to a trade partner, so it could actually be a precursor to a trade.

The team has also parted ways with players in the past to let them go get minutes while saving small amounts of money (e,g, Warrick).

Complicated.

Like everyone else, we’ll be thinking about this and keeping our eyes and ears open.

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