waiving a player

The NBA waives a player when a team no longer wants to have them on their roster. The waiving process is different from the cutting process, and it has some very specific rules. In this blog post, we will discuss how waiving a player works in the NBA. As well as what happens if they are not claimed by another team.

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What Are Waivers in the NBA?

When waiving a player in the NBA, it is referred to as “stretching”. This process does not just mean that you are taking your ball and going home. The term waiving refers to when an NBA team puts their player on waivers for other teams to claim them off of the free agency market.

Waiving a player

What Happens When a Player is Waived in the NBA?

When a player is waived they become free agents. They can sign with any team in the NBA. Or they may choose to play overseas for a couple of years. And then return to the NBA when their contract has ended.

Once a player clears waivers, all teams have an equal chance at signing them. However, if another team claims them off wavers within 24 hours then that previous claim takes priority over other future waiving claims by other teams.

If no one else claims them after waiving. Then the original team who waived gets first dibs on claiming them again if they desire so. Before others are allowed to place waiver bids on players as well. Teams only get 48-hour windows during which time they must announce whether or not they will

NBA Rules on Waiving Players

  • A waiver request can only be submitted between July 23rd and January 15th every year.
  • All 30 league teams get one chance during this period each season at claiming another team’s waived player(s).
  • For example, say there was only one player who had been put on waivers from Team A by January 15th. The waiving team would then be able to claim that player for themselves. And the other 29 teams would not have a chance at them during this period.
  • After January 15th has passed in any season. NBA teams cannot place players on waivers until after the end of the regular season (May 31st).
  • All waiving requests made between these two periods of time will go through all 30 league teams over 24 hours. Starting with the worst record to best record.
  • If more than one team claims the same waived player’s contract within 24 hours. Priority is given to worst win/loss records first. And gets progressively better as you move up the list by win/loss records throughout those 24 hours.
  • If no team waives a claim on the player then they are said to have “cleared waivers”. This means that there were teams who had waived claims in place during these 24 hours. And waived them due to their financial constraints or needs.
  • A waiver notice includes all terms of an NBA contract — salary, years remaining, etc., but does not include bonus clauses.
  • After clearing waivers at the end of any season (May 31st). Players become free agents with only enough time for one workout with another league team before July 23rd starts up again.

These are some very specific rules when it comes to waiving a basketball player in the NBA! It is important to understand how this process works. As the waiving process is different from cutting a player in the NBA.

What’s the Difference Between Waiving and Cutting a Player in the NBA?

The terms waiving and cutting are sometimes used interchangeably when it comes to the NBA. But they do have different meanings.

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Cutting a player in the NBA means that you are no longer going to use them on your roster. Whereas waiving is putting another team’s waived player up for grabs by other leagues’ teams over 24 hours.

Hence the main differences between waiving and cutting a player in the NBA are:

  • Waiving a player in the NBA means that you are allowing other league teams to pick them up. And use them on their roster;
  • Cutting a player in the NBA is no longer using them as part of your own team’s active roster.
  • Waiving players allows for more time than just 24 hours before they must be claimed by another team. Or else lose waiver priority over those who waive later within those first 24 hours;
  • Cutting does not allow for this extended period because it immediately removes them from your ranks without any chance at playing with any other league teams.
Waiving a player

Do Waived Players Still Get Paid?

Yes, waiving a player in the NBA means that they are still paid their full contract. However, if another team claims them off of waivers then that original waiving team is no longer responsible for paying out the rest of their salary. The waiving team will not get any sort of reimbursement for waiving the player.

The waiving team does have the option of paying out the waived player’s salary to keep them on their roster, but this is very rare in today’s NBA.

If a waiving team pays off another league team for one of their players then it will count towards that waiving team’s total amount they are allowed to spend during free agent signings or trades throughout the season (no more than $100K per year).

This also comes with other restrictions and regulations by both teams’ ownerships!

Can an NBA Player Request to be Waivered?

Yes, waiving players in the NBA is a player’s option. They can request to be waived if they feel as though their team will no longer need them moving forward and/or want an increased role on another league team.

Players often waive themselves from one roster when it becomes clear that they are not going to play for that particular franchise anymore — either because of reduced playing time or lack of current interest by other teams who would like to sign with them.

This also happens before any kind of trade where waiving might happen first (before being traded).

When waiving a basketball player means you have given up hope on him ever becoming anything more than what he currently is now or has been this entire season; paying off his contract completely or waiving him with a buyout.

No Penalties

This is the only time waiving a player in the NBA comes without any penalties or consequences for waiving them! If another league team wants to pick up that waived player then they will assume responsibility for overpaying out his salary from here on out just like if he was originally cut from their roster.

This also leads into how waived players get paid during this process — anything beyond what has been paid by waiving teams for waiving goes towards paying off salaries of other teams who end up picking these players, while still receiving some money (if more than $100K).

Why do NBA Teams Trade for Players and then Waive Them?

This is a great question! Let’s assume that there is this awesome player who was playing on another team in the NBA, but then they were waived because of their financial constraints.

If you trade for this waiving player and waive them afterwards, then it helps your win/loss record — which improves your rankings when waiving players during these 24 hours (July 23rd to January 15th).

Thus if you are looking to improve draft ranking positions or simply want more time before deciding whether or not to keep an acquired waiving player on your roster, trading can be beneficial!

Waiving a player


At the end of the day, waiving a basketball player in the NBA is all about financial considerations and whether or not your own roster needs are more important than another league’s teams’ rosters.

It can be extremely complicated to understand when it comes to waiving players in the NBA so we hope that this blog post has cleared up some confusion! We would also appreciate hearing from anyone looking for help with their waiver claims on how our process was helpful! Thank you again for reading our posts!

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