Ten-Day Contracts

10-Day Contract Trends In 2014/15

There are fewer than 10 days left in the regular season, so that means there won’t be any more 10-day contracts this year. Still, it was the most prolific season for 10-day contracts in recent years, as 48 players signed a least one such deal, up from 41 last year and 36 the year before. It’s the most in any season on record in our 10-Day Contract Tracker, which dates back to the 2006/07 season.

We’ll use the data from this year’s tracker to illustrate a few trends and notable statistics that emerged from this year’s 10-day signings. It’s still possible that we’ll see some 10-day signees ink deals that cover the rest of the season, and perhaps a team or two will choose to end one of its current 10-day deals before it runs to term, so some of the data may change. Still, we can see a fairly accurate picture of the 10-day landscape now that no new 10-day deals may be issued. Here’s a look at what happened:

  • The Jazz emerged as the team that gave out the most 10-day contracts, though that’s no surprise, since they had a commanding lead as of a few weeks ago. They signed ten 10-day deals with six players. The Knicks and Clippers finished right behind them, as each gave out seven 10-day deals to four players.
  • Four players signed 10-day contracts with multiple teams, and one, Elliot Williams, signed 10-day contracts with three teams — the Jazz, the Hornets and the Pelicans. None of those teams signed him for the season. The three other multiteam 10-day signees are JaMychal Green (Spurs and Grizzlies), Chris Johnson (Jazz and Bucks) and Quincy Miller (Kings and Pistons), each of whom eventually wound up with a rest-of-season deal.
  • Teams re-signed 26 10-day signees to deals that covered the rest of the season. Only three of them came after a single 10-day contract, as most of the players cycled through two 10-day pacts before moving on to rest-of-season deals.
  • A dozen players signed two 10-day contracts with a team but didn’t end up with rest-of-season deals. That includes Williams, who didn’t re-sign with the Jazz or the Pelicans despite two 10-day stints with each.
  • There were 14 players signed to just a single 10-day contract with a team, though four of those deals are still current, so there’s a decent chance they’ll join the trio of guys who followed one 10-day with a rest-of-season pact.
  • Five players saw their 10-day contracts end early, as their teams exercised their right to terminate the deals before the 10 days were up. The shortest time a player spent on a 10-day contract was two days, as the Pelicans released Toney Douglas the day after signing him. New Orleans circled back around and signed him for the season more than a month later.
  • The longest period of time a player spent on a 10-day deal was 13 days. That’s because the Pistons signed John Lucas III to a 10-day contract right before the All-Star break, which was lengthier than normal this year. The league stipulates that 10-day contracts cover at least three games, and the long gap in the schedule afforded Lucas extra time on his deal.
  • Mark Bartelstein’s Priority Sports & Entertainment was the leading agency involved with 10-day contracts this year, with five clients signing 10-day pacts. Three of them wound up signing for the season, while a fourth, Lester Hudson, is still on a 10-day contract with the Clippers.

10-Day Contract Tracker

Teams have been allowed to sign players to 10-day contracts for only slightly more than a month, and 25 players have already become 10-day recipients, more than half of the total of 41 who were on 10-day deals last season. The Knicks have signed three players for the rest of the season after handing out sets of two 10-day contracts to each of them.

Even when 10-day deals are less plentiful, the bulk of the signings that take place in the NBA between this point in the season and April are usually of the 10-day variety, and we’ll be keeping on top of all of them. Hoops Rumors has created a database that allows you to track every 10-day signing all season long. The 10-Day Contract Tracker includes information on all 10-day contracts signed from the 2006/07 season on, giving you a chance to identify trends regarding your favorite teams and players. The search filters in the database make it easy to sort by team, player and year. You can even see whether a player and team signed a second 10-day contract, and if the short-term deals led to an agreement that covered the rest of the season.

For instance, if you want to see how many 10-day deals Lou Amundson has signed over the course of his career, you can find that information here. Similarly, if you want to see all the 10-day contracts the Bulls have signed in recent years, you can do so here.

A link to our 10-Day Contract Tracker can be found at any time in the Tools menu at the top of the page, or in the right sidebar under “Hoops Rumors Features.” We’ll be keeping it up to date for the rest of the season, so be sure to check back to keep tabs on the latest signings as they become official.

10-Day Contract Tracker

Teams were allowed to start signing players to 10-day contracts starting Monday, and so far, there has been plenty of activity. The Jazz inked 10-day deals with Elijah Millsap and Elliot Williams, while the Knicks did so with Langston Galloway. The Bucks are reportedly set to do the same with Kenyon Martin.

The bulk of the signings that take place in the NBA between now and April will be of the 10-day variety, and we’ll keep on top of all of them. Hoops Rumors has created a database that allows you to track every 10-day signing all season long. The 10-Day Contract Tracker includes information on all 10-day contracts signed from the 2006/07 season on, giving you a chance to identify trends regarding your favorite teams and players. The search filters in the database make it easy to sort by team, player and year. You can even see whether a player and team signed a second 10-day contract, and if the short-term deals led to an agreement that covered the rest of the season.

For instance, if you want to see how many 10-day deals recently waived Lou Amundson has signed over the course of his career, you can find that information here. Similarly, if you want to see all the 10-day contracts the Knicks have signed in recent years, you can do so here.

A link to our 10-Day Contract Tracker can be found at any time in the Tools menu at the top of the page, or in the right sidebar under “Hoops Rumors Features.” We’ll be keeping it up to date for the rest of the season, so be sure to check back to keep tabs on the latest signings as they become official.

Hoops Rumors Glossary: 10-Day Contracts

Monday marks the renewal of the annual tradition of the ultimate on-the-job tryout in professional sports. The 10-day contract has been the foot in the door for several players who’ve gone on to lengthy, successful NBA careers, like Anthony Mason, Bruce Bowen, Raja Bell, Kurt Rambis, Howard Eisley and several others. More recently, C.J. Watson saw his first NBA action on a pair of 10-day contracts with the Warriors in 2008, and he’s since blossomed into one of the league’s most reliable backup point guards. He’s putting up career highs in points (11.0) and assists (4.2) per game this season, the last on a two-year, $4.093MM contract he signed with the Pacers.

Ten-day deals also help veterans make comebacks. Chris Andersen languished in free agency for sixth months after the Nuggets used the amnesty clause to get rid of him, but a pair of 10-day contracts with the Heat in 2013 kick-started a revival for the Birdman. He wound up signing for the rest of the season that year and played a key role on Miami’s championship team. Andersen reprised that role on a guaranteed minimum-salary contract last season, and that led the Heat to re-sign him this past summer to a two-year, $10.375MM deal.

Similarly, former first-round pick Gerald Green had been out of the league for three years when he made a splash during his pair of 10-day deals with the Nets in 2011/12. That earned him a contract for the rest of the season, and he parlayed 12.9 points and 48.1% shooting in 25.2 minutes per game for the Nets into a three-year, $10.5MM contract with the Pacers the following summer. Indiana traded him to Phoenix a year later, and he’s making a strong case to see even more on his next deal as he serves as a vital part of the Suns’ attack.

Still, the 10-day is usually a fleeting glimpse at NBA life for players on pro basketball’s fringe. Only a small fraction of last year’s 10-day signees remain in the league, as I noted earlier this season. Hunter Atkins of The New York Times followed the player whom Green replaced on the Nets roster, chronicling what turned out to be only a brief passage through the league for 10-day signee Andre EmmettLee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated took a similarly revealing look at the life of Zabian Dowdell as he tried to make the most of a 10-day with the Suns four years ago. Dowdell has been out of the NBA since that season.

Teams can sign a player to as many as two 10-day contracts before committing to him for the rest of the season, or, as in many cases, turning him away. Ten-day deals are almost always for a pro-rated portion of the minimum salary, though they can be for more. A minimum-salary 10-day contract for a rookie this season is worth $29,843. A one-year veteran would make $48,028. A minimum-salary 10-day deal with any veteran of two or more seasons would represent a cost of $53,838 to the team. Veterans of greater than two seasons would see more than that, but the league would pay the extra freight. However, teams gain no financial advantage if they eschew 10-day contracts with more experienced players to sign rookies or one-year veterans to 10-day deals in an effort to avoid the tax, as those deals count the same as the ones for two-year veterans when the league calculates a team’s salary for tax purposes.

Teams have to pay slightly more if they sign a player to a 10-day contract and they have fewer than three games on their schedule during that 10-day period. In those cases, the length of the 10-day contract is extended so that it covers three games for the team. It’s rare that any team would have such a light schedule, since most play at least three games a week, but the rule could come into play with this year’s new weeklong All-Star break. So, if a team plays only three games in a 12 day stretch, the player must receive at least 12/170ths of the minimum salary, rather than 10/170ths. Regardless of the length of a 10-day contract, the salary is guaranteed, even though the 10-day signee’s place on the roster isn’t assured. Teams may terminate 10-day contracts before they come to term, and that happened on several occasions last season, such as when the Cavs ended their 10-day contract with Shane Edwards a day early so they could sign Seth Curry to a 10-day deal instead. Players who see their 10-day contracts end early don’t go on waivers, so they become free agents immediately.

A team like the Raptors, who are perilously close to the tax threshold, may be wary of bringing anybody aboard via 10-day contract.  Other teams may make liberal use of 10-day deals. The Bulls, who played a game of limbo to duck the tax line last season, signed three players to 10-day contracts, as many as any team other than the Sixers, who employed an NBA-high five 10-day signees in 2013/14.

Usually, teams only have one player on a 10-day contract at a time, though they’re allowed to carry as many 10-day contracts as they have players on the inactive list. If a team has 13 players on the active list, it can carry one more 10-day contract than the number of inactive players it has, meaning that if a team has a full 15-man roster, as many as three of those players may be on 10-day deals.

Veterans whom NBA teams have recently released, like Gal Mekel, Jorge Gutierrez and Shannon Brown, figure to draw consideration for 10-day contracts, as should notable players who’ve gone unsigned this season, like Kenyon Martin, Rashard Lewis and Ronnie Brewer. D-League standouts like Curry, Brady Heslip and Quincy Miller could all find paths to the NBA via 10-day contracts, and hopefuls from the D-League will make their cases to scouts at the five-day D-League showcase, which runs from January 15th-19th.

Note: This is a Hoops Rumors Glossary entry. Our glossary posts will explain specific rules relating to trades, free agency, or other aspects of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ was used in the creation of this post.

Versions of this post were initially published on January 5th, 2013 and January 4th, 2014.

10-Day Contracts

Usually, teams can begin signing players to 10-day contracts on January 5th each year. Since tomorrow is a Sunday, the NBA will wait until Monday, the next business day, to renew the annual tradition of the ultimate on-the-job tryout in professional sports.

The 10-day contract has been the foot in the door for several players who’ve gone on to lengthy, successful NBA careers, like Anthony Mason, Bruce Bowen, Raja Bell, Kurt Rambis, Howard Eisley and several others. More recently, C.J. Watson saw his first NBA action on a pair of 10-day contracts with the Warriors in 2008, and he’s since blossomed into a premier backup point guard, having signed a two-year deal for about $4MM with the Pacers this past summer.

Ten-day deals also help veterans make comebacks. Chris Andersen languished in free agency for sixth months after the Nuggets used the amnesty clause to get rid of him, but a pair of 10-day contracts with the Heat kick-started a revival for the Birdman. He wound up signing for the rest of the season and played a key role on Miami’s championship team before landing much greater security with a two-year contract this past summer.

Similarly, former first-round pick Gerald Green had been out of the league for three years when he made a splash during his pair of 10-day deals with the Nets in 2011/12. That earned him a contract for the rest of the season, and he parlayed 12.9 points and 48.1% shooting in 25.2 minutes per game for the Nets into a three-year, $10.5MM contract with the Pacers the following summer.

Still, the 10-day is usually a fleeting glimpse at NBA life for players on pro basketball’s fringe. Only a fraction of last year’s 10-day signees remain in the league, as I noted earlier this season. Hunter Atkins of The New York Times followed another Nets player who signed a 10-day contract in 2011/12, chronicling Andre Emmett‘s brief return to the NBA. Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated took a similarly revealing look at the life of Zabian Dowdell as he tried to make the most of a 10-day with the Suns three years ago.

Teams can sign a player to as many as two 10-day contracts before committing to him for the rest of the season, or, as in many cases, turning him away. Clubs can terminate a 10-day contract at any time if they no longer want the player around. Ten-day deals are almost always for a pro-rated portion of the minimum salary, though agents and teams are free to negotiate the financial terms.

Usually, teams only have one player on a 10-day contract at a time, though they’re allowed to carry as many 10-day contracts as they have players on the inactive list. If a team has 13 players on the active list, it can carry one more 10-day contract than the number of inactive players it has, meaning a 15-man club could have as many as three guys on 10-day deals.

The 10-day salaries, however small, count for cap and luxury-tax purposes, so a team like the Celtics, who are perilously close to the tax threshold, may be wary of bringing anybody aboard by this method. Other teams may make liberal use of 10-day deals. The taxpaying Heat signed four players to a total of seven 10-day contracts, both NBA highs last season. The Mavericks came closest to matching that as they scrambled in vain in make the playoffs, inking four players to six 10-day deals.

Veterans who have recently been released from NBA teams, like Lou Amundson, Hilton Armstrong and Mike James, figure to draw consideration for 10-day contracts, as should notable players who’ve gone unsigned this season, like Richard Hamilton, Mickael Pietrus and Daniel Gibson. Recent D-League signees Terrence Williams, Von Wafer and Chris Smith could all see their way back to the NBA via 10-day contracts. NBA neophytes could merit 10-day deals, too, and many of them will be showing off to scouts at the five-day D-League showcase starting Sunday.

All season long, you can keep tabs on 10-day signings with the Hoops Rumors tracker. If you click “Filter,” you’ll see a menu of options that can display customized lists of 10-day signings dating back to the 2006/07 season.

Note: This is a Hoops Rumors Glossary entry. Our glossary posts will explain specific rules relating to trades, free agency, or other aspects of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ was used in the creation of this post.

A version of this post was initially published on January 5th, 2013.

Checking In With Last Year’s 10-Day Signees

The 10-day contract opens a slight crack in the window of opportunity for NBA hopefuls, but few are able to slip through to stay. Of the 32 players who received at least one 10 day contract last season according to our 10-day tracker, only three have signed as free agents so far this summer. Each of those players signed two 10-day contracts followed by a deal for the rest of 2011-12.

Green, of course, is the standard-bearer for last year's group of 10-day signees, averaging 12.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 25.2 minutes per game with a 15.8 PER in 31 contests for the Nets in his first NBA action since a 38-game stint with the Mavs in 2008/09. It was an inspiring comeback for the 18th overall pick in the 2005 draft, but his story is far from typical.

Aside from those three, there were another three 10-day signees who impressed their teams enough to warrant contracts that kept them from this summer's free agent market. The Rockets picked up Courtney Fortson's minimum-salary team option for 2012/13, guaranteeing his salary for this season. Donald Sloan has a non-guaranteed deal for this season with the Cavs, as does Lance Thomas with the Hornets. Others had non-guaranteed deals but were waived, as was the case with Jerome Dyson, who was used for salary-matching purposes in the Robin Lopez three-team swap before getting waived by the Suns.

Still others have found jobs overseas, as Ben Uzoh, Morris Almond and Justin Dentmon have all done. It appears Darryl Watkins is heading overseas as well.

Of the remaining free agents who signed 10-day contracts last year, Terrence Williams, who we heard this week is drawing interest from the Wizards, is probably the most likely to get another NBA deal before training camp, with Mike James and Bobby Simmons distinct possibilities as well. There's still time for more of them to sign, but guaratanteed contracts don't come easy at this stage of the offseason, and those who do sign will likely have to battle for a roster spot in training camp. That would essentially put them back where they were when they signed their 10-day contracts, once more in a position where they have to prove their worth as NBA players.