We often see players still under contract get waived by their teams during the season. But what does getting “waived” really mean? Let’s take a deeper dive into the NBA waivers explained.
nba waivers explained
there are 15 roster spots for each nba team. these teams need to max out all of these roster spots with the right talent and parts. therefore, if a player is no longer worthy of a roster spot for any reason, the team may relinquish or release him.
Although a player is no longer on the roster, the team is still responsible for paying the amount guaranteed in his contract, unless picked up by another team.
how do waivers work in the nba?
nba waivers are beneficial to both the team and the player. allows the team to open up a roster spot and allows the player to get paid and play for another team.
once a player is resigned, they are released to the “resign wire” or just “resigns” in short. All NBA teams are notified and have the opportunity to file a claim on the player within 48 hours. teams are constantly on the lookout for waivers to improve their squad.
If there are multiple teams claiming during the 48 hour period, then the player is officially claimed by the lowest ranked team in the most recent nba rankings. this gives the last teams the opportunity to improve their squad.
however, rebuilding teams generally don’t bother claiming players on the waiver cable as they want to develop their current talent. Additionally, they intend to stay low in the rankings for a better chance at the lottery in next year’s NBA draft.
Contending teams are often active on byes. after all, there are plenty of useful players to be found there to further your championship aspirations.
what does it mean to be on exemptions?
The nba waiver rules state that the claiming team must be willing to accept the waived player’s current contract and honor the amount of money involved in the contract. Of course, they still have to abide by the NBA’s salary cap rules.
This is different from a buyout, as a buyout means that the two parties have mutually agreed to negotiate less than the amount of money owed and release the player from their contract. After purchase, the player can immediately sign with any team he wishes, usually with a contender.
read more: nba acquisitions explained
There is no real deadline when a team can release a player in the regular season. however, any player claimed through waivers after March 1 will be ineligible on the team’s playoff roster.
how long does a player stay on waivers?
players remain on the waiver wire for 48 hours. other teams have a period of 48 hours to claim it.
per nba waiver rules, if no teams have filed a claim after the 48-hour waiver period, the player becomes an unrestricted free agent. this means that he no longer has a contract and can sign with any team he chooses.
why do teams give up players?
teams waive players if they decide they are no longer in their plans moving forward. this is true for players who don’t get into the team’s rotation or who are injured. Instead of just becoming a dead weight on the list, they just opt out of it.
Opening up another roster spot is crucial for contending teams as they can acquire another useful role player. meanwhile, other teams are giving up players just for the sake of clearing salary-cap space.