When a team with a full 15-man roster trades for a new player, it must waive someone to make room for the newcomer — that’s true even if the plan is to immediately cut the newly acquired player, as we saw when the Spurs traded for Noah Vonleh in January.
However, the Spurs were able to claim Sandro Mamukelashvili‘s two-way contract off waivers on Friday despite not making any related moves with Dominick Barlow or Julian Champagnie, their current two-way players.
Teams aren’t permitted to carry more than two players on two-way contracts, but as Bobby Marks of ESPN explains (via Twitter), the Mamukelashvili claim was made possible because the Spurs opened a spot on their standard roster (by waiving Isaiah Roby) and immediately promoted Mamukelashvili to fill that spot by unilaterally converting his deal to a standard rest-of-season contract.
If the Spurs had wanted to keep Mamukelashvili on his two-way deal or to negotiate a standard contract with him that covered two or more seasons, they wouldn’t have had the same roster flexibility and would have been required to waive Barlow or Champagnie when they claimed him, per Marks.
Here’s more from around the Southwest:
- Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke sustained a lower left leg injury in the first quarter of Friday’s loss to Denver and didn’t return, as Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal details. We’ll have to wait for more clarity on Clarke’s prognosis, but the non-contact nature of the injury is concerning (Twitter video link). “I pray that everything is okay,” head coach Taylor Jenkins said after the game (Twitter link via Cole). “… I have no idea what’s going on, so we’ll get more results there.”
- The two months that Brandon Ingram spent rehabbing a toe injury earlier this season felt like the longest two months of his life, the Pelicans forward told William Guillory of The Athletic. “It was hard. There were certain days when it felt like I had to fight just to be there mentally for my teammates and for myself. I had to fight just to keep a smile on my face so they wouldn’t see me down,” Ingram said. “I’m a person that believes everything happens for a reason. So, I just tried to dig deep, real deep down and get myself out of that dark place. I learned a lot about myself during that time.”
- In a mailbag for The Athletic, Tim Cato addresses a handful of Mavericks-related topics, including Luka Doncic‘s questionable on-court body language and the odds of Josh Green signing a rookie scale extension with the team this offseason (Cato believes the chances are “very high”).