The Nuggets played hardball and ended up saving a ton of money in the Antonio McDyess buyout. This blog post by Chris Tomasson over at the Rocky Mountain News claims that the final buyout amount was only $6 million dollars. McDyess was owed almost $15 million after 10% trade kicker was triggered as part of his contract. The Nuggets will only have three million dollars of that almost $15 million on their cap this year and next year (the buyout is split up over the length of the contract that was bought out).

As a result the Nuggets have gone from a payroll of $75.9 million after the trade to a payroll of only $71.15 million, which is abut one million dollars over the luxury tax line. The Nuggets could get under the tax in a deal involving Steven Hunter and/or Chucky Atkins. The bad news is they would probably have to give up a draft pick in any such deal. I hope Kronke is happy with chopping about $17 million off of the team salary and does not force the front office to part with a first rounder to get all the way under the tax limit.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. Today the story is the Nuggets pulled off a great deal in the buyout with McDyess.