2:56pm: Sixers coach Brett Brown said that the Sixers were able to trade for Cunningham without clearing a roster spot beforehand “because of [Andrei] Kirilenko’s absence, it’s allowed for us to have a flexible spot,” notes Tom Moore of Calkins Media. It remains unclear if that “flexible spot” came about via hardship or another means. Kirilenko hasn’t reported to the Sixers since last month’s trade, and the Sixers are reportedly pushing him to do so. Teams and the NBA both have the ability to suspend players who fail to report following trades, and if the suspension is long enough, clubs can clear an extra roster spot by placing the suspended player on the Suspended List. Still, there’s been no report indicating that the NBA or the Sixers have suspended Kirilenko.
8:32am: The Sixers waived Jared Cunningham as expected Wednesday, according to the RealGM transactions log. The team has yet to make an official announcement. Philadelphia acquired him from the Clippers via trade and quickly released him so that his non-guaranteed contract will have cleared waivers in advance of the leaguewide guarantee date on Saturday. The approximately $388K in salary that Cunningham earned this season while with the Clippers will count against Philadelphia’s cap figure unless another team claims him off waivers, though that matters little to the Sixers, who are still far beneath the $56.759MM minimum team salary.
It’s the second straight year that the 24th overall pick in the 2012 draft has found himself on waivers, after the Hawks let him go shortly after the trade deadline last season. The shooting guard resurfaced on a pair of 10-day contracts with the Kings, who ended up signing him to a contract that covered the rest of the 2013/14 season, so it’s conceivable that he travels that path again. Cunningham beat out sought-after overseas prospect Joe Ingles for an opening-night roster spot on the Clippers but saw just 4.7 minutes per game during the regular season.
Philadelphia’s roster is a bit of a mystery, as the Sixers had 15 players before the Cunningham trade, and teams can’t trade for more players than they give up if they don’t have roster room to do so, even if they intend to waive their new acquisitions immediately. The Sixers still haven’t formally announced the Cunningham trade, though the Clippers did, confirming that they didn’t send any active players to Philadelphia to balance the deal, in spite of rumors surrounding Tony Wroten.