The Clippers are expected to waive Jared Cunningham, a source tells Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). The move would come as no surprise, as Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com wrote last month that the team was likely to cut ties with the former first-round pick at some point in the coming weeks. Cunningham’s contract is non-guaranteed, but it would become fully guaranteed for the rest of the season if the Clippers fail to waive him by 4:00pm Central on Wednesday. The team is less than $1MM shy of its hard cap, so dropping Cunningham before his minimum salary locks in would give the club a modicum of additional flexibility. The Clips are on the hook for the prorated portion of Cunningham’s salary of more than $915K that he’s already earned, but they’d get to take his entire salary off their books if another team claimed him off waivers.
The 23-year-old shooting guard made the team out of training camp, but he’s failed to garner much playing time, accruing just 1.8 points in 4.7 minutes per game across 19 appearances. Still, Cunningham has played in nearly as many NBA games this season as he did in his first two seasons after becoming the 24th overall pick in 2012.
The team’s deal with Cunningham is its only non-guaranteed pact, as our roster counts show, so releasing him allows the club to maintain flexibility for a signing later in the season. The Clippers may also utilize 10-day contracts, as they did with three players last season, but since the team is already over the tax line and nearing that hard cap, even the slightest of investments come at a higher cost.