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Andrew Nicholson Leaves NBA, Signs with Guangdong Tigers in China

The Trail Blazers traded Allen Crabbe for him, now he’s overseas.

NBA: Preseason-Washington Wizards at Sacramento Kings Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Nicholson, the forward acquired by the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Allen Crabbe, is headed for China. According to international basketball reporter David Pick, Nicholson will join the Guangdong Tigers on the heels of his waiver from Portland.

The 27-year-old forward played five seasons in the NBA, suiting up for the Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, and Brooklyn Nets. He holds career averages of 6 points and 3 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game.


For those wondering, here are the cap implications for the Trail Blazers with the Nicholson signing.

These are the relevant clauses regarding offsets for waived players from Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ:

If another team signs a player who has cleared waivers, the player's original team is allowed to reduce the amount of money it still owes the player (and lower their team salary) by a commensurate amount. This is called the right of set-off. This is true if the player signs with any professional team -- it does not have to be an NBA team. The amount the original team gets to set off is limited to one-half the difference between the player's new salary and the minimum salary for a one-year veteran during the season in which the player is waived (if the player is a rookie, then the rookie minimum is used instead).

Breaking it down into plain English:

  1. Theoretically the Blazers would get an offset on the amount owed on Nicholson’s contract, even though he signed in China. If a team owes a waived player money and he signs with ANY other professional team, the salary is eligible for reduction.
  2. The amount of that reduction is determined by this formula: (Amount of New Contract - Minimum Salary of One-Year NBA Veteran) / 2
  3. Nicholson’s new contract is reportedly “in the $1 million range”. The minimum salary of a one-year NBA veteran in 2017-18 is $1.31 million, give or take. Using the formula in Point 2: $1 million - $1.31 million = 0. Zero divided by 2 = 0. Therefore Portland’s obligation to Nicholson is reduced by $0. They get no reduction at all; they still owe Nicholson the same amount.
  4. Should Nicholson’s Guangdong salary exceed the minimum of $1.31 million, Portland’s obligation will be reduced by half the excess amount, but practically speaking until he’s making $2 million or more it’ll barely register on the cap. It’s worth noting that Nicholson was originally under contract through 2020. If he signs a bigger deal with any professional team before then (in 2018 or 2019) the Blazers will be eligible for an offset on that new contract.