Diaw and the Charlotte Bobcats reached agreement Wednesday on a buyout of the remainder of his $9 million contract, and he was expected to be waived later today. It takes 48 hours to clear waivers, meaning Diaw could sign with a playoff contender as soon as Friday.
Tony Parker is expected will lobby hard, according to Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News, to add Diaw to the San Antonio Spurs, who have moved within 3 1/2 games of the Oklahoma City Thunder for first place in the Western Conference.
Parker and Diaw have spent time together on the French national team, which has already qualified for the 2012 Olympics. (SheridanHoops.com covered their victory over Russia. Click here to read the story that was filed back in September from Lithuania.)
“He’s in shape,’’ Parker said in a recent French radio interview. “I’m the first to make fun of him when he gains too much weight, but right now it’s not the case. We’re very interested to get him.’’
Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer was first to report Diaw’s buyout, which has been expected since the Bobcats took him out of their rotation two weeks ago, ending his streak of consecutive games at 258. Diaw has made two brief appearances since then, and Charlotte coach Paul Silas said two weeks ago he was frustrated with Diaw.
“I like a player who is really committed to not only the team but to himself and then doing the best he can as a player,’’ Silas told the Observer. “Some of the things that would go on, like not shooting the ball, passing all of the time’’ were unacceptable. “I needed hoops and he could put the ball in the hoop. When that wouldn’t happen it was very disturbing. I think if he had played all out, the way he should have, it would have been a much, much better club.”
Diaw came to the Bobcats in a December, 2008, trade with the Phoenix Suns, along with Raja Bell, for Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley.
He averaged 7.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 37 games this season for the Bobcats, the NBA’s worst team.
The nine-year veteran had his best season in 2005-06 when he averaged 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists for the Suns.