Pistons Claim Jordan McRae Off Waivers

4:15pm: The waiver process is complete and McRae belongs to the Pistons, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

3:07pm: The Pistons intend to claim guard Jordan McRae off waivers this afternoon, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

After reaching a buyout agreement with Denver on Sunday, McRae was officially released and appeared to be headed to Phoenix, with the Suns planning to place a waiver claim of their own. However, with Derrick Rose on the shelf due to an ankle injury, the Pistons were said to be eyeing McRae for backcourt depth.

Because the waiver priority order is determined by the NBA’s reverse standings, Detroit (20-42) will be awarded McRae over Phoenix (24-38) if both teams submit claims. Technically, one of the five teams with a worse record than the Pistons could swoop in and steal McRae, but there has been no indication that will happen.

A fourth-year shooting guard, McRae was putting up the best numbers of his career in D.C. this season, recording 12.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 2.8 APG on .420/.377/.371 shooting for the Wizards, though injuries limited him to just 29 games. He was sent to Denver in a deadline deal for Shabazz Napier and averaged just 8.0 MPG in four games for the Nuggets, who have an overcrowded rotation.

The two sides reached a deal on Sunday that allowed McRae to get a new opportunity, with the Nuggets opening up a roster spot and saving some money. Although the 28-year-old agreed to surrender $390,424 of his minimum salary, that agreement will be negated by the Pistons’ waiver claim. Detroit will simply take on McRae’s $1,645,357 expiring contract, which will come off Denver’s books. The Pistons will be on the hook for paying the prorated salary remaining on the deal, while the Nuggets’ financial obligation will be extinguished.

By claiming McRae off waivers, the Pistons will get his Early Bird rights, which will give them added flexibility to re-sign him this summer. No corresponding roster move will be necessary for Detroit, since the team has an open spot after letting Derrick Walton‘s 10-day contract expire earlier this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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5 thoughts on “Pistons Claim Jordan McRae Off Waivers

  1. hiflew

    Seems like kind of a d*ck move to me. I know the Pistons are not obligated to allow the Suns to just get the guy, but is it really necessary to make them angry over a minimum salary guy? Are McRae’s early bird rights really that important? They might need the Suns as help in a multi team trade down the road. It’s petty of course, but these owners can be very petty at times.

    • Theone23

      I hardly think this is petty. It’s just business. Detroit did what they had to do. They’re a rebuilding squad lacking depth at the guard position right now. The rules are the rules and the Pistons didn’t break any of them. I doubt the Sun’s are that hurt that it would affect some kind of Detroit Phoenix relationship down the road, and even if they are, Detroit should care less

    • I mean it doesn’t sound like McRae and Phoenix agreed on a deal or anything. Phoenix just made it known they intended to claim him off waivers. There’s nothing wrong with Detroit claiming him.

    • Jason Lancaster

      If Phoenix wanted him, why didn’t they trade for him before the deadline? Denver would have dealt him for sure, and probably wouldn’t have asked for much (cash maybe?). Sarver is cheap, so maybe that’s the problem…

  2. x%sure

    I kind of thought McRae was better than the similar Troy Daniels, who Denver took instead. They will both turn 29 in about a month. Good move for Detroit & good for Mcrae since there should be PT backing up DRose (if that happens).

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