The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team has claimed guard-forward Sonny Weems off of waivers.
Why did Philadelphia want the 29-year-old journeyman?
The 76ers were $2,630,651 below the salary floor before the waiver claim. They would have had to pay that amount to their players as punishment for not reaching the floor.
But Weems’ $2,814,000 salary lifts them over the floor, meaning they’ll no longer have to pay the shortfall.
The key for Philadelphia: It must pay only only Weems’ remaining salary – $629,012. Phoenix already paid the rest. The 76ers also must pay a $1,000 waiver fee to drop Christian Wood and clear a roster spot for Weems.
In simplest terms, Philadelphia is spending $630,012 to erase a $2,630,651 bill. That’s a profit of $2,000,639.
The 76ers did something similar with Thomas Robinson last year. It appeared Joel Anthony – acquired with a second-round pick – would serve a similar role this year, but the Pistons voided the three-way trade involving the Rockets, keeping Philadelphia below the floor.
So, the 76ers were waiting for someone like Weems – whose salary nearly matched their room below the floor – to come on the waiver wire.
Can he help them on the court? That’s the wrong question.
He has already made a multi-million impact where it counts.