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Report: Hornets buy out Matt Carroll

Matt Carroll Matt Carroll did not make an appearance for the Hornets. (Greg Nelson/SI)

By Ben Golliver

The Matt Carroll Era in New Orleans wound up lasting just one week.

ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the Hornets reached a buy out agreement with Carroll, a veteran guard acquired in a trade with the Bobcats for forward Hakim Warrick last week.

Carroll, 32, did not make an appearance for the Hornets and has played just six minutes so far this season, tallying 0 points and 0 rebounds in his only appearance for the Bobcats. He was in the final year of a six-year, $27 million contract that will pay him $3.5 million.

At first glance, last week's trade looked like a big-for-small roster balancing move for the Hornets, who had no real use for Warrick in a crowded frontline that includes No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Jason Smith and Robin Lopez. Instead, money has emerged as the primary motivation behind the deal.

The Hornets save at least a pro-rated portion of the $500,000 difference between Warrick's $4 million salary and Carroll's salary. Midseason buyouts aren't an overly common occurrence, so it's possible Carroll's agent already has a team lined up ready to sign him. If that's the case, his next stop will likely be for a team that couldn't make a sensible trade work at his old salary figure, because of cap restrictions, but can offer him a minimum deal now that he's set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Carroll, one of the Bobcats' team captains, was known primarily as a shooter, at least until his shot deserted him during the 2008-09 season. He holds career averages of 6.6 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in a 10-year career that has included stops with the Blazers, Spurs, and Mavericks, in addition to two stops with the Bobcats and this brief lay-over with the Hornets.

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