5:06pm: The moves have taken place, the Sixers announced via press release.
3:40pm: Philly is claiming Weems to have a look at him, tweets Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, suggesting that the team plans to keep him around, at least for a while.
2:31pm: The Sixers plan to claim Sonny Weems off waivers from the Suns today and release Christian Wood from his 10-day contract, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The move appears to be geared toward lifting Philadelphia’s team salary, currently at about $60.4MM, to the league minimum of $63MM. Weems makes $2.814MM, which would push the Sixers over the salary floor by about $200K. However, Weems is only due a few more paychecks that will total about $660K, notes Bobby Marks of The Vertical (Twitter link). So, even though Weems’ full salary would hit Philly’s cap, the Sixers would only pay him a fraction of that amount. Philadelphia would have had to shell out the difference between its team salary and the salary floor to the players on its roster if it hadn’t made up the gap by the last day of the regular season.
A claim would help the Suns, too, since it would save them from having to pay the remaining $660K obligation to Weems and erase his entire salary from their cap. Phoenix would be just barely above the cap if Philly indeed comes away with the swingman.
Wood signed a 10-day contract just this past Friday, but the Sixers will owe him the full $30,888 value of the deal regardless of whether he remains on the roster. He would immediately become a free agent once the Sixers release him, since 10-day contracts don’t go on waivers. This would be the second time this season that Philadelphia has relinquished Wood, who hit waivers in January when the team decided to sign Elton Brand.
It’s unclear whether the Sixers intend to keep Weems, since they’ve often quickly waived players after taking on their salaries in the past. His contract includes a non-guaranteed salary of nearly $2.941MM for next season, so his contract could help serve as ballast for offseason trades even if the Sixers don’t envision a future with him. The 29-year-old was in and out of the Phoenix rotation this season, averaging 11.7 minutes per game in his return to the NBA after four years playing overseas. In any case, it’s no surprise to see Philadelphia in line to claim him, as Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors speculated this weekend that such a move would take place.