Why most teams will complete roster cuts on Saturday

NBA teams have until Monday night to officially finalize their rosters for the 2022-23 regular season. However, the majority of NBA teams will likely have their rosters ready by Saturday, with far more roster cuts expected today than Sunday or Monday.

Why is that? Well, today’s release of a player ensures they clear waivers on Monday before the regular season begins.

Players who are cut mid-season are also paid for each day they spend on waivers, so a player who hits waivers on Sunday and doesn’t clear until day one of the season on Tuesday is technically even earning a day’s wages would if his salary is not guaranteed. A player released Monday would spend two regular season days on waivers.

[RELATED: 2022/23 NBA Roster Counts]

It doesn’t matter to players with partial or full guarantees spending the first day or two of the regular season on waivers, as they’ll get their full 2022-23 salary (or partial guarantees) regardless of when they’re laid off. But if a team waits until Monday to cut a player on a non-guaranteed salary, that team will have dead money on the hook for the player for two days.

Two days worth of dead money isn’t exactly going to break the bank – it would net around $21,000 for most minimum wage players. But the majority of teams already know which players are going in and which are out, so the decision doesn’t have to wait until Monday. They will make these cuts today and avoid adding additional cap charges to their books for ’22/23. Even this small amount of savings could make a difference for teams that are just under the tax limit or fighting against a hard cap.

While many teams are making their cuts today, a handful of clubs can afford to wait an extra day or two if they wish, as they are forgoing players who have full or partial guarantees.

That thunderfor example, have 17 players with fully guaranteed contracts and need to reduce that number to 15. Waiting until Sunday or Monday to make their cuts doesn’t affect their cap prospects at all, as all 17 of those players are receiving their full-season salaries either way.

Additionally, teams can afford to wait until Monday to complete those moves whose final roster moves do not include placing a player on waivers.

For example, Marc Stein reported (via twitter) on Friday night that outsider guard McKinley-Wright His contract is expected to be turned into a two-way deal in Schedule 10, provided the club don’t make a ‘late audible’ claiming a player who has been waived by another team. Dallas could wait until Monday to commute Wright’s contract since he doesn’t have to go through any waivers.

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