The Lakers, Bulls, and Hawks are among the teams expected to have interest in Mindaugas Kuzminskas if the former Knick clears waivers, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link). Kuzminskas, waived today by New York, will become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday if no team claims him.
When Kuzminskas first signed with the Knicks in the summer of 2016, Berman reported (via Twitter) that the Lakers and Hawks nearly beat out New York to sign the Lithuanian forward, so it’s not a surprise that they’d be willing to kick the tires again. The Bulls also make sense as a potential suitor, since they aren’t overly concerned with short-term success and can afford to roll the dice on a project.
Before Kuzminskas is free to sign with any team though, he’ll have to clear waivers. Waiver claims in the NBA are pretty rare, particularly for players earning more than the minimum. Still, it’s worth noting that half the league’s teams have the ability to claim Kuzminskas and his $3MM salary off waivers, if they so choose.
Waiver order is currently determined by last year’s record, with the worst teams getting first priority. Here are the clubs eligible to claim Kuzminskas:
- With cap room: Kings, Nets, Pacers, Sixers, Suns
- With cap room if various exceptions are renounced: Mavericks
- With a trade exception: Bucks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Raptors, Trail Blazers
- With a disabled player exception: Celtics