ATLANTA -- Whether or not the Los Angeles Clippers win the Josh Smith sweepstakes when he clears waivers Wednesday and sign him to a veteran’s minimum deal or he goes elsewhere, the team will most likely make a roster move within the next couple of weeks.
The Clippers are $788,256 under the hard salary cap, and unfortunately for them, the minimum salary for a two-plus-year vet counts $915,243 toward their cap, according to ESPN.com cap expert Larry Coon. And because of a nuance, any free agent signed with less than two years also counts $915,243 toward the hard cap.
Now that doesn't mean the Clippers are out of the running for Smith or another possible free agent. They would have to make a roster move anyway to add a player as they already have the maximum 15 players on the team.
Guard Jared Cunningham is on a non-guaranteed salary, so if the Clippers waived him (as they are expected to do before his contract is guaranteed Jan. 10) they would save about $600,000 off their team salary cap. That would give them enough to offer Smith or someone else a minimum-salary contract. So whether it’s Smith this week or another player down the line, look for the Clippers to make a move at some point in the coming weeks.