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Timeline Of Moves That Gave Teams 16 Players

The NBA has occasionally granted teams the power to carry more than 15 players during the regular season in the past, but the league has been especially willing to give teams an extra man over the past calendar year. Fittingly, the NBA allowed 16 roster moves that left teams with 16 players last season. Philadelphia’s addition of Phil Pressey last week represented the 17th time in a one-year span that a roster swelled past the usual limit. The trend shows no signs of slowing down now that the one-year anniversary of last year’s first 16th roster spot has passed, with the Pelicans having applied for a hardship provision to add Jimmer Fredette as an extra man.

The hardship provision, designed to allow for injury relief, isn’t the only way a team can carry a larger-than-normal roster. Teams have the power to do so to compensate for the loss of players on lengthy suspensions, and that’s what the Sixers did on numerous occasions last season after they suspended Andrei Kirilenko for failing to report after a trade. The Bucks did the same, signing Jorge Gutierrez to a pair of 10-day contracts while Larry Sanders was on suspension. The Grizzlies had several players out with illness when they signed Kalin Lucas and Hassan Whiteside, augmenting what had been a 14-man roster, but that opportunity came about because Nick Calathes was suspended, not because of injury or illness.

None of last year’s 16th men are still with their respective teams, which makes sense, since extra roster spots are temporary measures. Still, a few noteworthy names dot the list below, including Whiteside, who joined the Heat and blossomed into a key player just days after the Grizzlies let him go. Here’s a timeline of teams adding 16th players over the past year:

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