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Schedule Of Salary Guarantee Dates

Most NBA contracts are fully guaranteed, but there are plenty of exceptions. Dozens of players have non-guaranteed salary for next season that would go away if they cleared waivers. The NBA has a leaguewide guarantee date of January 10th each year that applies to most non-guaranteed pacts, though that date is effectively January 7th, since 4pm Central time that day is the deadline for teams to waive non-guaranteed salary without it becoming guaranteed.

That date doesn’t hold for all non-guaranteed salary, however. Teams and players are free to negotiate earlier (but not later) guarantee dates, and many do. Some non-guaranteed salary for 2015/16 can become guaranteed on June 30th, even before the 2015/16 season technically begins.

Players waived before their salary guarantee dates may still end up with their salaries guaranteed if another NBA claims them off waivers within the two-day waiver period. So, if the Bucks waive Caron Butler on June 29th, the day before his guarantee date, and another team claims him on July 1st, the claiming team would be stuck with Butler’s full $4.5MM salary.

Such high stakes guarantee decisions are rare, however. Most players with non-guaranteed salaries are in line to make no more than the minimum, even if they stick on their contracts throughout the season. Brendan Haywood has the largest non-guaranteed salary for 2015/16, though his $10.5MM becomes fully guaranteed if he doesn’t hit waivers on or before August 1st. It’s almost certain that he will hit waivers, though there’s a strong chance his contract is traded a time or two before then, as I explained last year.

Here are a few notes on the listings below:

  • The players are set to make the minimum if they remain under contract, unless otherwise noted.
  • The date by each name represents the final day that the team may waive the player without guaranteeing his salary. That means that even if the Pistons waive Butler on June 30th, they still wouldn’t owe him any pay.
  • Many players will earn guarantees of partial amounts of their full season’s salaries if they don’t hit waivers by a certain date. The month-by-month listing below indicates whether a full or partial amount becomes guaranteed. All salaries listed under the leaguewide contract guarantee date heading become fully guaranteed by that date.
  • Several players are listed more than once as they collect partial guarantee amounts. Henry Walker, whose name appears four times below, begins without any guaranteed salary and assures himself of $100K, $300K and $500K in progressive increments over time before his full salary would lock in on the leaguewide contract guarantee date.
  • The progressive amounts of partial guarantees shown here aren’t cumulative. So, at the end of November 3rd, for instance, Walker would be guaranteed a total of $300K if he avoids waivers, and not $300K plus the $100K that was already assured to come his way.

Updated 12-20-2015


  • 30th — Caron Butler (Bucks) full ($4.5MM) — waived
  • 30th — Jamal Crawford (Clippers) full ($5,675,000) — already $1.5MM guaranteed
  • 30th — Chris Kaman (Trail Blazers) full ($5,016,000) — already $1MM guaranteed
  • 30th — Jon Leuer (Suns) full ($1,035,000)
  • 30th — Robert Sacre (Lakers) full
  • 30th — Anthony Tolliver (Pistons) full ($3,000,000) — already $400K guaranteed




  • 1st — Markel Brown (Nets) $200K — already $150K guaranteed
  • 7th — J.R. Smith (Cavaliers) full ($5MM) — already $2MM guaranteed
  • 15th — Langston Galloway (Knicks) $440K — already $220K guaranteed
  • 29th — Markel Brown (Nets) full — already $200K guaranteed
  • 29th — Cory Jefferson (Nets) full — already $100K guaranteed — waived
  • 29th — JaVale McGee (Mavericks) $500K — already $250K guaranteed


  • 4th — Kostas Papanikolaou (Nuggets) full ($4,797,664) — waived
  • 26th — Earl Clark (Nets) $200K — waived
  • 26th — Ian Clark (Warriors) $473,636
  • 26th — Jarell Eddie (Warriors) $422,530
  • 27th — Ben Gordon (Warriors) $749,493 — waived
  • 27th — Sean Kilpatrick (Pelicans) $50K — waived
  • 27th — JaVale McGee (Mavericks) $750K — already $500K guaranteed
  • Opening night — Toney Douglas (Pacers) $875K — already $600K guaranteed
  • Opening night — James Ennis (Heat) $253K
  • Opening night — Dwight Powell (Mavericks) full
  • Opening night — Ricky Ledo (Knicks) $200K — already $100K guaranteed — waived
  • Opening night — Quincy Miller (Nets) $100K — waived
  • Opening night — Devyn Marble (Magic) full
  • Opening night — Willie Reed (Nets) full
  • Opening night — Adonis Thomas (Pistons) $110K — already $60K guaranteed — waived
  • Opening night — Tyler Johnson, Heat — already $422,530 guaranteed


  • 1st — Donald Sloan (Nets) $200K — already $50K guaranteed


  • 1st — Jorge Gutierrez (Bucks) $250K — waived
  • 27th — Ryan Hollins (Wizards)

Leaguewide contract guarantee date (January 7th):

Cliff Alexander, Trail Blazers — already $100K guaranteed
Cameron Bairstow, Bulls — already $425K guaranteed
Tarik Black, Lakers
Matt Bonner, Spurs — already $749,594 guaranteed
Rasual Butler, Spurs
Ian Clark, Warriors — already $473,636 guaranteed
Bryce Cotton, Suns
Robert Covington, Sixers ($1MM)
Jared Cunningham, Cavaliers
Toney Douglas, Pelicans — already $50K guaranteed
James Ennis, Heat — already $253,518 guaranteed
Tim Frazier, Trail Blazers
Langston Galloway, Knicks — already $440K guaranteed
Erick Green, Nuggets — already $100K guaranteed
JaMychal Green, Grizzlies — already $150K guaranteed
Aaron Harrison
, Hornets
Marcelo Huertas, Lakers
Cory Jefferson, Suns
Chris Johnson, Jazz
James McAdoo, Warriors — already $100K guaranteed
T.J. McConnell, Sixers — already $100K guaranteed
JaVale McGee, Mavericks — already $750K guaranteed
Elijah Millsap, Jazz
Tony Mitchell, Warriors
Eric Moreland, Kings — already $200K guaranteed
Mike Muscala, Hawks — already $473,638 guaranteed
Kostas Papanikolaou, Nuggets — already $350K guaranteed
Lamar Patterson, Hawks — already $75K guaranteed
JaKarr Sampson, Sixers
Donald Sloan, Nets — already $200K guaranteed
Adonis Thomas, Pistons — already $110K guaranteed
Hollis Thompson, Sixers
Jeff Withey, Jazz — already $200K guaranteed
Christian Wood, Sixers — already $50K guaranteed
Metta World Peace, Lakers

The Basketball Insiders Salary Pages were used in the creation of this post. Hoops Rumors obtained confirmation where some data on those pages conflicts with archival data at Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ was also used as a resource.

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