The list of bench players waived by teams this week continues to grow faster than the mold on the Christmas leftovers still in the back of your refrigerator (you really should throw those out now).
Brian Skinner in Milwaukee, John Lucas III in Chicago, Ronald Dupree in Toronto, Ime Udoka in San Antonio, Damien Wilkins in Atlanta, Rodney Carney in Golden State, Steve Novak in Dallas, all let go… and that’s just in the last few hours. There have been and will be more.
On message boards across the land fans keep asking, “Is this clearing a roster spot to make way for a big trade?” No.
It is teams saving money — by next Monday, if you have a non-guaranteed contract and are still on a roster your contract becomes guaranteed for the rest of the season. So teams are waiving seldom-used guys whose deals are not already secure to save a few bucks (and create roster space).
A lot of these guys will go to the D-League or be picked up on 10-day contracts with teams. There will be a lot more purging over the coming days.
Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.
With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.