Tuesday was just another day for most NBA players, but for Nate Robinson, remaining on the Bulls' roster through the day ensured that he'll receive a full-season salary. The guarantee date on Robinson's contract, January 1st, came about a week earlier than the league-wide guarantee date, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes.
Had the Bulls elected to waive Robinson before his contract became guaranteed, they would have paid him a prorated minimum-salary for his service so far, saving a few hundred thousand dollars. Instead, the veteran point guard will earn a salary of $1,146,337 for 2012/13, regardless of whether he remains on the team's roster until season's end. His minimum salary counts for $854,389 against Chicago's cap.
Robinson has been productive for the Bulls in his first 29 games, averaging 11.0 PPG and recording a 16.6 PER. However, there was still some uncertainty about whether he'd be retained for the season, given Chicago's cap situation. With less than $1MM of wiggle room before they reach their hard cap, the Bulls could have gained a little more flexibility by releasing Robinson.
As is, the Bulls still have the ability to add a player on a rest-of-season contract, or hand out multiple 10-day deals. However, the club won't be able to add any significant salary via trade.