8:30pm: The Sixers have officially waived Booker, according to a press release from the club.
1:15pm: The Sixers intend to waive veteran forward Trevor Booker in order to open up a spot on their roster, reports Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link). That roster opening is required in order for Philadelphia to finalize its deal with Ersan Ilyasova, who will clear waivers later today. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), Booker agreed to a buyout.
Booker had been viewed as the most likely candidate to be waived by the 76ers since word of the team’s agreement with Ilyasova broke. Although there are other players on the roster who play fewer minutes and/or earn smaller salaries, Booker’s situation made him expendable — he is one of the few Sixers on an expiring contract, and he plays the same position as Ilyasova, meaning his already-modest role would have been further reduced if he’d stuck around.
Booker, acquired earlier this season in a trade that sent a second-round pick, Jahlil Okafor, and Nik Stauskas to the Nets, has been solid since arriving in Philadelphia. In 33 games (15.0 MPG), Booker has averaged 4.7 PPG and 3.7 RPG with a career-high .560 FG%.
The 30-year-old’s ability to contribute as a role player should make him an appealing target for playoff-bound teams, as Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype tweeted earlier this week. Sam Amick of USA Today noted today (via Twitter) that several teams were monitoring the Booker situation in Philadelphia, and the big man himself sounds confident that he’ll find a new home quickly.
“If I do get waived or bought out, whatever it is, I have a lot of teams interested in me,” Booker said on Tuesday, acknowledging that he knew he may be the odd man out for the Sixers.
If the 76ers officially waive Booker today, he’ll clear waivers on Friday, at which point he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.