EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) – The Los Angeles Lakers waived forward Brian Grant on Wednesday, taking advantage of a one-time provision to the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement that allows teams to save nearly $30 million in luxury tax penalties.

Grant was part of the trade that sent Shaquille O’Neal to the Miami Heat last July.

The Lakers acquired Grant, Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and a future first-round draft pick.

Grant was the Lakers’ second-highest paid player after Kobe Bryant and still is owed $29.8 million on his contract.

He averaged a career-low 3.8 points and 3.7 rebounds last season while bothered by chronic tendinitis in his knees. He also had a neck injury in training camp and spent a month on the injured list because of the tendinitis.

The Lakers will have to pay nearly all of Grant’s remaining contract, even if the 33-year-old player signs with another team as a free agent. The Lakers will gain no additional salary cap flexibility until after the 2006-07 season, when Grant’s contract expires.

By removing Grant’s salary from the NBA’s luxury tax calculations, the Lakers benefit because the league assesses a dollar-for-dollar penalty for the amount teams spend over the luxury tax threshold, which will be $61.7 million for next season.

“This is a one-time opportunity to take advantage of this situation, and exercising this will give us greater roster flexibility and the ability to improve our team,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said.

AP-ES-08-10-05 1826EDT


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