As we’ve outlined before, players on non-guaranteed contracts will see their full-season salaries become guaranteed if they remain on an NBA roster beyond January 7th, 2014. Up until that date, teams can safely release most players on non-guaranteed deals and avoid paying their entire salaries — the club would be on the hook for just a pro-rated portion of that salary, or a partial guarantee that was previously agreed upon.
However, not every player on a non-guaranteed contract has to wait until January to find out whether they’ll be receiving a full season’s worth of pay checks. There are at least three players whose deals are known to include earlier guarantee dates. Here’s a breakdown of who those players are, the dates they’ve got circled on their calendars, and the likelihood that they’ll receive full guarantees:
Maalik Wayns (Clippers)
Guaranteed for $788,872 if not waived on or before December 1st.
We haven’t heard any updates on Wayns’ status since he underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in mid-October. While the 22-year-old surely would have preferred to stay healthy, the injury could end up benefiting him financially. As Larry Coon writes in his CBA FAQ, non-guaranteed players who are injured and subsequently waived will receive full guarantees until they’re healthy again or until the end of the season, whichever comes first. So even if Wayns is waived by the Clippers in the next couple days, he’ll continue to earn his salary.
A.J. Price (Timberwolves)
Guaranteed for $947,907 if not waived on or before December 8th.
Ricky Rubio and J.J. Barea are getting nearly all the point guard minutes in Minnesota, so there haven’t been many left over for Price, who has been unproductive in his 30 total minutes this season. The Wolves, who were ravaged by injuries last season, know better than most teams that having more than enough depth can come in handy later in the year, but perhaps the club will choose to release Price and re-add a third point guard if and when one is needed.
Jannero Pargo (Bobcats)
Currently partially guaranteed for $300,000. Guaranteed for $1,399,507 if not waived on or before December 10th.
Like Price, Pargo has been stuck behind a pair of effective point guards in the early going — Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions are ahead of him on Charlotte’s depth chart. Pargo has played just 15 total minutes in three games, so virtually everything I wrote about Price applies to the veteran Bobcat as well. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team cut Pargo to save a little money, then re-sign him later in the season if depth becomes an issue.