December 1 is a relatively minor day on the NBA calendar, but it will change the way waiver claims are processed for the rest of the season. Starting today, the waiver claim order will be determined by the current NBA standings, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. Up until now, the order had been set by where teams finished last season.
The change is especially significant for the Warriors, who are now first in line after previously being 28th. Devastated by injuries and free agent losses, Golden State is off to a 4-16 start, which is the worst record in the league. However, their ability to make any move is restricted by a hard cap that was imposed with the sign-and-trade that brought D’Angelo Russell to the Bay Area.
Next in line are the Hawks (4-16), Knicks (4-15), Cavaliers (5-14) and Grizzlies (5-13). You can follow changes to the order all season long on our Reverse Standings.
Nine waiver claims have been made since the league’s new year began in July. These moves typically involve fringe players, and a couple of them are no longer on the roster of the teams that claimed them. Tyrone Wallace has been claimed twice — by the Timberwolves in July after the Clippers waived him and by the Hawks in October after he was cut by Minnesota.
Today also marks an important guarantee date for two players, Marks adds. Heat rookie Kendrick Nunn will see his guarantee increase from $300K to $450K once the deadline passes at 5pm Eastern Time (Twitter link). Nunn signed a three-year, $5MM contract at the end of last season, including a $1.4MM salary for this year that will become fully guaranteed along with all league salaries on January 7. Nunn is a surprise Rookie of the Year candidate, starting all 18 games and averaging 16.4 PPG.
Bucks forward Dragan Bender will see his guarantee rise from $600K to $800K if he stays on the roster past the 5pm deadline (Twitter link). He has a two-year, $3.5MM deal with partial guarantees, but has only gotten into two games so far. He will receive $1.68MM if he remains with the team through January 7.