On Thursday afternoon, a few days after officially being cut by the Golden State Warriors, center Marquese Chriss cleared waivers.
Any of the remaining 29 teams in the NBA could have claimed Chriss, but since the deadline to guarantee his contract had passed, they would be on the hook for his salary for the rest of the year.
Now that Chriss has cleared waivers, he is officially an unrestricted free agent, able to sign a deal with any team, including the Warriors. That deal could be guaranteed, or it could be a 10-day contract. Or even a two-way deal.
It’s unclear if this is a good thing or a bad thing. It could be either, and much depends on how the Warriors view Chriss.
As we discussed yesterday, the Warriors have been transparent about their interest in retaining Chriss. They were hoping it wouldn’t come to waiving him, and would like to re-sign him, either later in the year or during the offseason.
Then again, that could be posturing.
Had a team claimed Chriss shortly after Monday’s move, they would immediately take on his salary. But since no one did, Golden State owed Chriss’ salary through the time of passing through waivers. Those extra few days are a lot of money towards the team’s very limited, hard-capped funds. Chriss clearing waivers only hurts the team’s fiscal flexibility.
As expected, Chriss (and Gary Clark) cleared waivers. Golden St. was hoping a waiver claim would give them more room under the hard cap. https://t.co/FFs67TE7f1— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) January 9, 2020
Saving some money would have been a good thing, but it would have come at a cost. It’s hard to know what they would have preferred, but what they wanted doesn’t matter. What they have is a little bit less money to spend, but still a shot at a reunion.