As we detailed last week, a number of teams dipped below the NBA’s required minimum of 14 players (not counting two-way contracts) with their moves leading up to the trade deadline. Teams are only permitted to drop below 14 players for up to two weeks.
Since then, the Pelicans (Isaiah Thomas) and Knicks (Norvel Pelle) have added a 14th man to their respective rosters to get back up to that minimum, but a handful of teams still need to make roster moves this week.
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First up is the Clippers, who face a Monday deadline for signing a 14th man. By all accounts, that player will be DeMarcus Cousins, who has been going through the coronavirus protocols in advance of signing a 10-day contract with Los Angeles.
Like the Clippers, the Trail Blazers appear to have a 14th man lined up already, as word broke last Friday that they’ve struck a deal with free agent forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. That deal still isn’t official, but Portland has until Thursday to finalize it, so there’s plenty of time to get it done.
Three other teams face a Thursday deadline for filling one of the two current openings on their 15-man rosters — the Heat, Warriors, and Raptors all must sign a player by then.
All three of those teams have players on two-way contracts who could be candidates for promotions to the main roster, including Max Strus (Miami), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Golden State), Nico Mannion (Golden State), and Yuta Watanabe (Toronto). However, those clubs could also opt to bring in outside free agents and keep their two-way players where they are.
For the time being, the only other team to watch on this front is the Cavaliers. Since Quinn Cook‘s second 10-day contract expired last Wednesday night, Cleveland has been carrying just 13 players on standard deals. It doesn’t sound like the Cavs will re-sign Cook, but they’ll need to sign someone to fill his vacated roster spot — unlike the teams mentioned above though, Cleveland won’t need to add a 14th man until next week.