The Nets and Suns are now each eligible to add a 16th man to their standard roster if they so choose. Brooklyn would be able to carry a 16th player up until the team’s December 15 game against the Sixers, while Phoenix could carry a 16th man until its December 17 contest vs. the Clippers.
Both teams have players serving 25-game suspensions, with Wilson Chandler sitting out for the Nets while Deandre Ayton is sidelined for the Suns. NBA rules permit a team with a suspended player to move that player to the inactive “suspended list” once he has served five games of his ban. The fifth game of Chandler’s suspension happened on Friday, while Ayton’s fifth missed game was on Saturday.
Since both clubs have used up all their cap room and have no other cap exceptions available, they’d be limited to the minimum salary exception if they were to sign a free agent.
Of course, neither team is obligated to use its temporary roster flexibility to add a new player. Acquiring a 16th man would create a roster decision in mid-December, when those suspensions are due to end.
For instance, if the Nets sign a free agent, they’d have to get their roster back to 15 players on December 15, when Chandler comes off the suspended list. They could do so by trading or waiving their temporary 16th man, or by trading or waiving another player, including Chandler.
For now, there’s no indication that a signing is imminent for either team, but if the Nets or Suns do make a roster addition in the near future without a corresponding move, you’ll know why.