In many cases, players on non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed contracts are slated to earn minimum salaries if they remain on NBA rosters. That's especially true at this time of year, when most players who had been on non-guaranteed contracts worth more than the minimum have already seen their deals become fully guaranteed — Kyle Lowry, for instance, was only owed $1MM of his $6.21MM salary for 2013/14, but that full $6.21MM became guaranteed when he wasn't waived on or before July 15th.
There are still a handful of players though who are on non-guaranteed deals worth more than the minimum, and still aren't entirely safe. Last night, we passed along our complete list of non-guaranteed contracts for '13/14, but this morning we'll highlight a few specific cases, weighing the likelihood of these guys earning their full salaries.
Listed below are the players believed to still be on non-guaranteed contracts worth more than the minimum salary for the coming season. These deals will become fully guaranteed if the players aren't released on or before January 7th.
- Andrew Bynum, Cavaliers ($6MM of $12.25MM currently guaranteed). Bynum's health figures to play a role in determining whether or not he earns the additional $6.25MM on his contract this year. Still, I think the Cavs will probably keep Bynum around barring anything short of a season-ending injury. Even if he has only appeared in a handful of games by the time decision day rolls around in January, it's hard to imagine Cleveland releasing Bynum if the team believes he could be healthy in the second half, considering the potential upside.
- C.J. Miles, Cavaliers (none of $2.225MM currently guaranteed). If the Cavaliers were going to cut Miles, I think they would have done it by now, to maximize their summer cap space. At $2.225MM, the eight-year veteran, who averaged 11.2 PPG and a .384 3PT% in his first year as a Cav, is a relative bargain, and figures to remain in Cleveland beyond January 7th.
- Hasheem Thabeet, Thunder ($500K of $1.2MM currently guaranteed). Thabeet may never live up to the expectations placed on him when he was drafted second overall in 2009, but if you're looking for a big man capable of playing 10-15 minutes per game off the bench, you could do worse. Oklahoma City is flirting with the luxury tax line, and has a few non-guaranteed deals on the books, so at least one or two of those guys will likely be waived. Still, I'd be a little surprised if Thabeet was one of those cuts, particularly since OKC holds a cheap 2014/15 option on him.
- Hedo Turkoglu, Magic ($6MM of $12MM currently guaranteed). The Magic continue to work on a buyout for Turkoglu, and it sounds like he'll probably be off the roster well before January. One report suggested that Turkoglu's big expiring contract could become a decent trade chip at the February deadline, but that would mean guaranteeing him another $6MM, which seems like bad business.