Fewer than five weeks remain in the season, but teams are still making adjustments to their rosters as they prepare for the playoffs, or, in some cases, get ready for next season. With the help of our Expanded Roster Counts, which Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors maintains, here’s a look at each team’s roster flexibility for the stretch run.
Nearly half the teams in the league have 15 contracts that run through season’s end, so the following clubs are the ones that are least likely to make any moves. They’d have to eat the remaining salary on one of their contracts to add someone else, assuming whomever they waived wasn’t claimed off waivers. However, as the end of the season approaches, it’s decreasingly costly to take the hit for the salary that remains on an expiring contract and sign another player to a prorated deal.
These teams also have 15 players on their roster, but one of those players is on a 10-day deal, allowing the clubs to retain a modicum of flexibility:
Now we get to a group of teams that wouldn’t have to make a corresponding move and risk being on the hook for any salary at all if they signed a player. These clubs have 14 contracts that run through the end of the season, leaving one open roster spot. The Pistons are marked with an asterisk because while they technically only have 14 players, they’ve reportedly agreed to a multiyear deal with Quincy Miller. So, Detroit will soon join the group at the top with 15 contracts that carry through at least the end of the season.
- Trail Blazers
These two teams don’t have any immediate open roster spots, but they have two 10-day contracts and only 13 players signed through the end of the season, leaving plenty of flexibility:
The following pair of clubs takes that even further, with 13 players signed through season’s end and only one 10-day contract. The Suns are marked with an asterisk since they’re apparently about to leave this group, having reportedly agreed to a deal with Earl Barron that covers the rest of the season.
No team has more roster flexibility than the Nuggets, who have but 13 contracts guaranteed through the end of the season and no one on a 10-day contract, leaving two open roster spots. The Lakers are a one-of-a-kind case, too. They have 15 deals that run through season’s end and, thanks to the hardship exception, they also have Jabari Brown on a 10-day contract, giving them 16 players. Nick Young has missed the past eight games, and if doctors deem that he’s not expected to return for a while, the Lakers would qualify to apply for a 17th roster spot, though there’s been no indication of whether they plan to do so.