NBA irony: Trevor Booker may have played himself out of a job with Wizards

Former Clemson star is unrestricted free agent after triggering 'starter criteria,' bumping himself into higher pay bracket

Washington Wizards forward Trevor Booker (35) blocks the shot of Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson (22) as Martell Webster, second from right, and Carlos Boozer (5) watch during the first half of Game 5 in an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Washington Wizards forward Trevor Booker (35) blocks the shot of Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson (22) as Martell Webster, second from right, and Carlos Boozer (5) watch during the first half of Game 5 in an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

In the process of playing his way into the Washington Wizard's starting core, Trevor Booker may have played his way out of a job.

The Wizards announced on Saturday that they have declined to make a 'qualifying offer' for the former Clemson star, who emerged as one of the NBA team's mainstays during a successful 2013-14 season.

According to the Washington Post, it's not that the Wizards don't want to keep Booker - it's that he played himself a salary bracket the team is unwilling to pay.

According to the Post, "Before the season began, Booker was eligible for a qualifying offer of $3.4 million as the 23rd pick in the 2010 NBA draft. But Booker was set to earn an offer nearly $1.3 million higher after meeting what the NBA collective bargaining agreement calls, “starter criteria.” If a non-lottery first-round pick starts at least 41 games or plays 2,000 minutes, he is eligible to receive the same qualifying offer as the ninth overall pick. Booker started 45 games."

After two injury-plagued seasons, Booker played in 72 games and averaged 21 minutes, 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

If he signs with another team as an unrestricted free agent, Booker is set to earn $4.7 million in 2014-15.

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Comments » 1

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

He didn't play himself out of a job. He's a victim of the collective bargaining agreement. He's clearly not in the Wizards' plan to be a starter at either forward spot so it doesn't make salary cap sense to pay him as one. $4.7 million is more than what Bradley Beal makes next season.

It's interesting that they declined to make Trevor Booker a $4.7 million qualifier, but 2 days later they did offer Kevin Seraphin a $3.9 million qualifier.

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