Recap Of 2023/24 Salary Guarantee Decisions

As of December 29, there were 35 players who were signed to standard, full-season contracts but whose salaries for the 2023/24 campaign weren’t fully guaranteed.

The deadline for teams to waive those players and avoid having their full ’23/24 salaries become guaranteed was on Sunday, January 7 at 4:00 p.m. CT.

Although their salaries won’t technically become guaranteed until January 10, those players would still receive their full-season guarantees if they’re cut today or tomorrow, since they wouldn’t clear waivers before Wednesday.

Here’s a roundup of the decisions teams made with those 35 players:

Players on standard contracts who will have their salaries guaranteed:

Each player’s salary is noted here. His cap hit is identical to his salary unless otherwise indicated.

(*) cap hit of $2,019,706
(^) cap hit of $1,845,593
(#) cap hit of $1,416,116

Of the 30 players on non-guaranteed contracts who were retained, 27 are earning the minimum salary, so the financial impact of keeping them is relatively minor.

Still, open roster spots are valuable at this time of year. A few of these players were fortunate not to be let go by a team prioritizing flexibility ahead of the trade deadline; many others have played regular rotation minutes during the first half and were never candidates to be cut.

Players on standard contracts who were waived before their salaries became guaranteed:

Each player’s cap hit is noted here. The team would no longer be on the hook for that cap charge if a player is claimed off waivers.

All five of these players were on minimum-salary contracts. Gibson and Toscano-Anderson were both signed on December 15, however, so their dead cap hits are relatively modest compared to the others.

Wainright and Jeffries each earned a prorated portion of a full-season minimum salary, while Mays was assured of an $850K partial guarantee when he was promoted to Portland’s standard roster from his two-way deal in November.

Jeffries has cleared waivers, leaving his dead money on the Knicks’ books, but the other four are still technically candidates to be claimed. Wainright and Mays are on track to clear waivers later on Monday, while Gibson and Toscano-Anderson would become free agents if they go unclaimed on Tuesday. A team that places a claim on one of those players would have to commit to guaranteeing his salary for the rest of the season.

There were a few other players with partially guaranteed salaries who were cut earlier in the season. That group consisted of Dylan Windler (Knicks), Filip Petrusev (Kings), and Danny Green (Sixers). Those moves didn’t go down to the wire like the others listed above, having occurred well in advance of the salary guarantee deadline.

Players on two-way contracts who were waived before their salaries became guaranteed:

For the first time, the league-wide salary guarantee date of January 10 also applies this season to players on two-way contracts. In the past, the guarantee date had been Jan. 20 for two-way salaries.

Two-way salaries are only worth half of the rookie minimum and don’t count against the salary cap, so many teams likely weren’t feeling a ton of pressure to make rest-of-season decisions on their two-way players by Sunday. Two-way contracts can be signed until March 4, so there will be clubs that make changes between now and then.

However, there were six players on two-way contracts at the start of January who were waived in advance of Sunday’s waiver deadline and won’t receive their full two-way salaries this season. Those players are as follows:

The Knicks (Duane Washington) and Lakers (Dylan Windler) have each signed a two-way player since the start of the month, so there are only four open slots around the NBA, belonging to the Bucks (two), Lakers, and Nets.

The full list of players who are still on two-way contracts and earned full guarantees can be found right here.

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