NBA Contract Guarantees To Watch

NBA Contract Guarantees To Watch

January 7 isn’t a well-known date on the NBA calendar, but it should be. Many know that on January 10, all NBA contracts become fully guaranteed. What isn’t as well-known is that in order for a team to not have a fully guaranteed deal land on their books for the rest of the season, they have to make a decision by January 7.

Teams must waive players on partial/non-guaranteed deals by January 7 in order for them to clear waivers before January 10. (The waiver period is 48 hours). Thus, while January 10 is the technical date that all contracts become fully guaranteed, January 7 is the functional deadline.

We’ve already seen some movement around this deadline. The Boston Celtics traded Noah Vonleh to the San Antonio Spurs, who subsequently waived Vonleh. The Dallas Mavericks waived veteran guard Kemba Walker.

There are 27 players still in limbo before the January 7 deadline. Here are the decisions NBA teams must make. (All salary amounts reflect the player’s fully guaranteed cap hit.)


Atlanta Hawks

Vit Krejci - $1,563,518

This is a true 50-50 decision. The Hawks are close to the luxury tax line, but won’t save much by waiving Krejci. And they’re already sitting on one open roster spot. The guess here is that Krejci sticks.

Tyrese Martin - $1,017,781

Atlanta made a significant investment in Martin as a 2022 second-round pick. He’s not getting waived.

Boston Celtics

Justin Jackson - $1,836,090

When Boston traded away Noah Vonleh in a salary-clearing move, it boosted Jackson’s chances of sticking around. The Celtics aren’t exactly swimming in wing depth either. Jackson probably sticks, unless Boston really wants to play in the buyout market.

Luke Kornet - $2,133,278

Kornet has been a regular rotation player. The Celtics figure to play it safe with Rob Williams and Al Horford the rest of the regular season. Kornet isn’t going anywhere.

Brooklyn Nets

Markieff Morris - $1,836,000

The Nets just guaranteed Morris $1 million last month. He’s not going anywhere.

Edmond Sumner - $1,968,175

Sumner’s return to the court has been a fun story. He’s also played a rotation role at times. He’ll stick through the guarantee deadline.

Yuta Watanabe - $1,836,090

Watanabe has been one of the best bargains in the league, after earning a roster spot in training camp. He’ll be in Brooklyn for the rest of the season.

Charlotte Hornets

Dennis Smith Jr. - $1,836,090

When healthy, Smith has been a very solid backup point guard for Charlotte. He’s sticking around.

Chicago Bulls

No guarantee decisions

Cleveland Cavaliers

Lamar Stevens - $1,782,621

Stevens has been a rotation guy and sometimes starter for the Cavs. He’ll be staying in Cleveland.

Dallas Mavericks

No remaining guarantee decisions after waiving Kemba Walker

Denver Nuggets

No guarantee decisions

Detroit Pistons

No guarantee decisions

Golden State Warriors

No guarantee decisions

Houston Rockets

No guarantee decisions

Indiana Pacers

Oshae Brissett - $1,846,738

Brissett is a regular rotation guy in Indiana and the only true four in their rotation. He’s not going anywhere.

James Johnson - $1,836,090

The Pacers are currently around $15 million under the salary floor. They’ll guarantee Johnson and if they need a roster spot, they’ll just eat his salary.

LA Clippers

No guarantee decisions

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers will reportedly guarantee both Wenyen Gabriel ($1,878,720) and Austin Reaves ($1,5563,518). This makes sense as both are rotation guys. Reaves becomes a very interesting restricted free agent to monitor this coming offseason.

Memphis Grizzlies

Danny Green - $10,000,000

Green isn’t going to get waived. The real question is if Green will be part of a trade package, of if he can return from his torn ACL to give Memphis some wing depth.

Miami Heat

Haywood Highsmith - $1,752,638

Highsmith will stick around in Miami. He’s played regular minutes in Miami’s miniature and banged-up frontcourt.

Milwaukee Bucks

No guarantee decisions

Minnesota Timberwolves

Nathan Knight - $1,839,090

The Wolves like Knight as a depth player in their frontcourt. He’ll stick around for the rest of the season.

Jaylen Nowell - $1,930,681

This is a no-brainer. Nowell is Minnesota’s best reserve guard. He’s not getting waived. Nowell is also an interesting extension candidate for the Wolves.

Austin Rivers - $1,836,090

Rivers is a rotation regular for Chris Finch. He’ll continue to be one after the guarantee deadline passes on January 7.

New Orleans Pelicans

Jose Alvarado - $1,563,518

Arguably the biggest no-brainer on the list. Alvarado is on a steal of a deal for the Pels and isn’t going anywhere.

New York Knicks

Ryan Arcidiacono - $1,836,090

Arcidiacono is a favorite of Tom Thibodeau, so he’ll stick around. He’s also occasionally played when New York has dealt with backcourt injuries.

Svi Mykhailiuk - $1,836,090

Mykhailiuk won a roster spot during the preseason, but that hasn’t translated to anything further. Even when the Knicks have been down several wings, Mykhailiuk hasn’t played. This is a tough call, but the guess is the Knicks let him go.

Oklahoma City Thunder

No guarantee decisions

Orlando Magic

Jonathan Isaac - $17,400,000

This is a quirky one. By not meeting games-played minimums, Isaac’s contract converted to partial and non-guaranteed years over its final three seasons. He’s still not back yet, but the Magic aren’t ready to move on either. He’ll make it through the rest of this year. Depending on how Isaac looks when he does play sets up an interesting decision for Orlando this summer.

Philadelphia 76ers

No guarantee decisions

Phoenix Suns

Jock Landale - $1,563,518

Landale seemed like he would be waived long ago, but he’s become Phoenix’s best backup big behind Deandre Ayton. He’ll stick with the Suns for the rest of the season.

Portland Trail Blazers

No guarantee decisions

Sacramento Kings

Matthew Dellavedova - $1,836,090

This one is tough. Mike Brown loves Dellavedova being the veteran guard with a still-young group. But the Kings might need a roster spot for flexibility during trade and buyout season. The guess is Dellavedova sticks, but could be thrown into a trade package, or waived if Sacramento makes an unbalanced trade.

Chima Moneke - $1,017,781

Moneke hasn’t done much for the Kings. He’s shuttled back and forth to the G League a lot. But Sacramento made a decent-sized salary commitment to him. He probably sticks around.

KZ Okpala - $1,902,133

Okpala is in a bit of a similar spot as Moneke, as far as salary-commitment goes. But Okpala sees minutes on a fairly regular basis too. He’ll stick in Sacramento.

San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Johnson - $1,245,164

Johnson will stay in San Antonio. The Spurs are $14.7 million under the salary floor and already have an open roster spot. With Devin Vassell out for a while after knee surgery, Johnson isn’t going to be waived.

Toronto Raptors

No guarantee decisions after waiving Justin Champagnie last month

Utah Jazz

No guarantee decisions

Washington Wizards

No guarantee decisions