Clippers chop down hefty tax bill by $110 million by shoving Eric Gordon to free agency following $21 million payment refusal

Eric Gordon will be an unrestricted free agent after the LA Clippers elected not to guarantee his $20.9 million contract for the upcoming season. The team made this choice with the luxury tax in mind in an effort to lower their anticipated tax payment for the upcoming season.

Gordon’s performance when he was a member of the club was acknowledged by management, but they want to give younger guards more playing time rather than relying on a 34-year-old veteran. The Clippers’ estimated tax obligation will drop from $169 million to $59 million as a result of releasing Gordon from his deal, putting them $18 million above the $165 million luxury tax threshold.

Clippers let Eric Gordon become free agent

Eric Gordon will be a free agency this offseason as the LA Clippers have opted not to guarantee his $21 million salary for the next season. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Clippers made this choice just minutes before the deadline. In 22 games with the franchise after being acquired by the Clippers in a midseason trade, Gordon averaged 11.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.

The Clippers may have taken this action to cut costs, since replacing Gordon’s contract with a rookie minimum deal could possibly save them $108 million in luxury tax. 

Gordon, who is 34 years old, is still a quality shooter who is renowned for his ability beyond the arc. Throughout his career, he has consistently averaged 37.1% from beyond the arc, and this season while playing for the LA franchise, he shot an astounding 42.3%.

Gordon gave his team more scoring and shooting after being acquired by them in a three-team deal with the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies. While he might not be as explosive as he once was, his shooting ability still makes him a valuable asset in the league.

Tax bill-motivated move favors Clippers

The LA Clippers’ choice to forego guaranteeing Eric Gordon’s $20.9 million contract for the 2018 campaign appears to have been driven by a desire to pay less in taxes. The Clippers may reduce their anticipated tax payment from $169 million to $59 million by eliminating Gordon’s deal, which will result in huge savings for club owner Steve Ballmer.

Despite Gordon’s ability, the Clippers see him as a liability given their depth at guard and the possibility of a more significant off-season acquisition. Cutting Gordon also makes Coach Ty Lue’s guard rotation simpler. The move also gives the Clippers the opportunity to investigate deals and look at guard and power forward position improvements.


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