FEBRUARY 23: The Pelicans officially waived Thornwell on Monday, per NBA.com’s transactions log.
Thornwell appeared in 11 games for New Orleans this season, but saw limited action, averaging just 4.8 minutes per contest. In 53 total minutes, he scored 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting, chipping in four steals.
According to Guillory, the Pelicans were happy with Thornwell’s performance, but will make the move for financial reasons. The 26-year-old’s minimum-salary contract isn’t fully guaranteed, so by waiving him prior to Wednesday’s salary guarantee deadline, the club will save some money and create more breathing room below the luxury tax line.
Rather than counting for $1,620,564 against the Pelicans’ cap, Thornwell will have a cap charge of $721,484, assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers, as Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. New Orleans will move approximately $1.4MM below the tax threshold, Marks adds (Twitter link).
Because the Pelicans already have an open spot on their 15-man roster, releasing Thornwell will reduce their total standard contracts to just 13. The league-mandated minimum is 14, but teams can dip below that number for two weeks at a time. New Orleans will have to add a 14th man within two weeks and will likely do so by utilizing a 10-day contract — 10-day deals can be signed starting on Tuesday.