Chris Brown's finally put that alleged pickup basketball brawl behind him -- settling up with the guy who sued him ... but the guy definitely won't be retiring on what he got from Chris.
Malcolm Ausbon filed the lawsuit, claiming Chris and 3 cronies gave him a beat down in the middle of a hoops game they were playing at a 24-Hour Fitness last year in L.A.
As we first told you ... Ausbon's lawyer even sent Chris' attorney, Mark Geragos, a letter threatening to go to cops, unless Chris paid him $250k -- a move Geragos called extortion.
In the end, we're told Ausbon did get paid -- but way, wayyy less than his asking price. Sources connected to Chris describe it as a "nuisance payment" -- to make Ausbon go away -- that was no more than 4 figures.
The exact amount is sealed under terms of the settlement. As for why Chris paid such a low number -- best guess is Ausbon lost all bargaining power when he arguably blackmailed Chris.