By Stefan Swiat, Suns.com
Posted: Sept. 14, 2009
As expected, Sasha Pavlovic’s basketball career in Phoenix was finished before it ever even began. The Suns have agreed to buy out Pavlovic’s contract in a move that will allow the team greater salary cap flexibility moving forward.
Marc Cornstein, Pavlovic’s agent, approached the Suns recently to talk to the team about a prospective buyout. If Pavlovic would have remained with the Suns, there was a reasonable chance that he would have been waived in December, allowing the organization to pay much less of a luxury tax to the league.
“It wouldn’t make sense for us from a business standpoint to let him go just to let him go,” President of Basketball Operations and GM Steve Kerr said. “We also understood Sasha’s desire to move over with his career, find the right team and get to training camp. It worked out for both sides.”
With interest from other teams in the sixth-year swingman, both parties agreed it would be best for Pavlovic to be able to pursue those opportunities with training camps beginning in the next few weeks. In order to speed up the process, Pavlovic’s camp broached the idea of a buyout, which would ultimately benefit the Suns more financially than if they just waived him.
The 6-7 Serbian was traded from Cleveland to Phoenix along with Ben Wallace for Shaquille O’Neal on draft day. With the buyout of both players, the Suns were set to save about $18 million ($9 million in salary plus the dollar for dollar tax for being over the cap).
However, the Suns took some of that relief to re-sign co-captain Grant Hill and ink forward/center Channing Frye. With everything said and done, the Suns will still find themselves approximately $5 million over the salary cap.
Pavlovic averaged 4.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and shot 41 percent from three-point land in 16 minutes a game last season.
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