National Basketball Association (NBA)

What does it mean when an NBA player is 'waived'?

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Answered 2016-03-07 12:39:19

A waiver is a temporary status for players who are released by their team. A player released between August 15th and the end of the regular season stays on waivers for 48 hours. A player released at any other time stays on waivers for 10 days. During the waiver period other teams may claim a waived player. If more than one team tries to claim the player, the team with the worst record gets him. If a player on waivers is claimed, the new team acquires his existing contract and pays the remainder of his salary. There is also a fee of $1,000, payable to the league office, for claiming a waived player.

A team can claim a waived player only if one of the following is true:

  • The team is far enough under the salary cap to fit the player's entire salary.
  • The team has a disabled player exception for at least the player's salary.
  • The team has a trade exception for at least the player's salary.

The player's contract is for one or two seasons and he is paid the minimum salary. If no team claims a waived player, he is said to have "cleared waivers." The player may sign with the team of his choice at that point. The player's new team only pays the pro-rated minimum salary to the player. The player's original team continues to pay the balance of the player's salary. For this reason, few players are actually claimed while on waivers.

If a player is waived after March 1, he is ineligible to be included in the playoff roster of any team that signs him for the remainder of that season.

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