Mike Bibby Reaches Buyout With Wizards, Reportedly Headed To Heat

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Mike Bibby To Sign With Miami Heat, Says Report

Mike Bibby will sign with the Miami Heat, according to a report by ESPN's Chris Broussard. Bibby reached a surprising buyout with the Washington Wizards Monday in which the veteran point guard gave up all salary due to him -- more than $6 million in all -- to be released to find a new squad. Bibby had been traded to the Wizards in a deal that sent Kirk Hinrich to the Atlanta Hawks last week. Bibby appeared in two games (briefly) for the Wizards before his agent David Falk -- a powerful rep who once called Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing clients -- worked out the buyout.

Given that Bibby is unlikely to earn $5 million as a free agent on the open market at season's end, cynics could fairly assume that the Heat suggested plans to sign Bibby to an above-market deal this offseason in order to help the point guard recoup lost wages given up in the buyout. That said, Antonio McDyess gave up substantial guaranteed salary in a buyout after a trade to the Denver Nuggets several years ago; McDyess then re-signed with the Detroit Pistons for the remainder of the season, and signed for the mid-level exception with the San Antonio Spurs that offseason.

But given the potential for an NBA lockout at season's end, Bibby's buyout remains curious.

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Mike Bibby Buyout With Wizards Completed, Entire 2011-12 Salary Sacrificed

Mike Bibby really wanted to play for a contender after getting traded from the Atlanta Hawks to the Washington Wizards right before the trade deadline. How badly? Bibby has agreed to a buyout from the Wizards in which he will give back his entire $6.4 million salary in 2011/12, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears.

Guard Mike Bibby agreed to give up entire $6.2 million salary for the '11-'12 season to get buyout with Wiz to play for winner, source says.    

The move clears Bibby to sign with any team and still be eligible to play in the 2011 playoffs. He would like to end up signing with the Miami Heat once he clears waivers, though nothing is official, according to a report by Sam Amick.

Bibby therefore will only receive his salary for this season, pro-rated for the amount of time left in the year. It's among the most significant sacrifices a player has made in recent memory to be bought out. Antonio McDyess sacrificed his $6.8-million salary for the following season to return to the Detroit Pistons after being traded to the Nuggets in 2008, and Rasheed Wallace sacrified two years and $13 million to retire from the Boston Celtics last season. 

The Wizards, meanwhile, clear Bibby's salary from the books next season, meaning they ended up essentially getting two first-round picks, a third prospect selected in the 2010 first round (Jordan Crawford) and $6.2 million of cap relief from employing Hinrich for five months. That's a nifty set of maneuvering by general manager Ernie Grunfeld. 

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Mike Bibby Buyout With Wizards In Works, According To Report

Mike Bibby could reach a buyout agreement on the final two seasons of his contract with the Washington Wizards on Monday, reports Dan Hellie of NBC 4 in Washington, D.C. Bibby was traded to the Wizards before the NBA trade deadline last week. March 1 is the deadline for players to be released from their contracts and allowed to appear in the playoffs for another team.

Bibby is under contract for $6.4 million for the 2011-12 season; it's unclear how much of that Bibby will be willing to give up in exchange for the freedom to latch on to a team for a championship run now. Bibby would not be expected to pull anywhere close to $6 million as a free agent at season's end, and any team he'd sign with for the stretch run this season could only give him a pro-rated amount of the veteran's minimum, which will come out to a few hundred thousand dollars, depending on when he signs a contract.

Bibby had been with the Atlanta Hawks since early 2008, when a trade from the Sacramento Kings helped catapult the Hawks into primetime. Bibby, never particularly fleet of foot, has slowed considerably as he works through his 30s, and averaged a career-low 8.5 points per game in the postseason last year. The Hawks were swept out of the second round by the Magic after triumphing over the Bucks in seven brutal games.

It's unclear what team would look to sign Bibby, though the Miami Heat have an unsettled rotation at point guard, the Boston Celtics are shallow behind Rajon Rondo and the New York Knicks have been rumored to be looking for a back-up point guard.

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