Ryan Anderson waiver likely due to Rockets preparing to avoid luxury tax
According to cap guru Albert Nahmad, the Rockets will have exhausted $435,000 of his full $500,000 partial guarantee if he is waived on Monday, but they have four more days to play with before his $2.6 million salary out-earns his guaranteed money.
After waiving Anderson, the Rockets will be $185,000 above the tax, but they also have up to $2 million going to Clint Capela in bonus money, as well as Nene’s $2.6 million, which could make for a trade chip:
Rockets, after waiving Ryan Anderson, will be $185K above tax to 14 players. But they have up to $2.0M bonus money to Clint Capela, as well as Nene’s $2.6M salary as possible trade fodder. They seem to be preparing to avoid tax, even after rebuilding to 15 (Chris Clemons, etc.).
— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) November 18, 2019
Another aspiring capologist, David Weiner of ClutchFans.net, also came to the same conclusion:
This would support my theory that this was primarily motivated by financial reasons.
Anderson's $500k partially guaranteed cap/tax hit would have started growing larger next week, once his prorated salary increased beyond $500k. https://t.co/sqJvZeayaj
— David Weiner (@BimaThug) November 18, 2019
The Rockets were believed to be creating the open roster spot for spark plug Chris Clemons, who is still on a two-way contract and will likely try to negotiate a full-fledged NBA deal at the end of his 45 days of service with the team. But the Rockets have never been fond of paying the tax, even if they’ve doled out a supermax deal to James Harden and hauled in another supermax player in Russell Westbrook. So, it’s no surprise they will start to scrap for some penny-pinching early this season.
General manager Daryl Morey received a contract extension last season, with some believing it came as a reward for the series of moves he pulled off to get the Rockets under the tax.
Owner Tilman Fertitta has been known to closely monitor his team’s spending, and this is by no means an exception. Anderson was one of many gambles that simply didn’t pan out for the Rockets, and cutting him is excusable, but expect this to be one among many moves in Clutch City to get the Rockets under the tax line once again.