What Does Waived Mean In NBA?

If you think NBA rules and regulations are as simple as other sports league rules, then you are totally wrong. In fact, the NBA rules are much harder to understand and get a grasp on. You will need to consider every aspect to understand them clearly.

The same goes with the waiving of a player in the NBA. Many people have still not understood how it actually works and the actual concept, proceedings, and future plans when waiving a player. But do not worry, as I am going to exterminate all of your questions and queries regarding being waived in the NBA.

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What is meant by being waived?

As we all know, every team has a contract with every player that states the player’s duration in the team, salary, and some other things.

What Does Waived Mean In NBA

But, when a team releases a player before the contract ends, it is called waived. It can happen in certain situations when a player is not performing well, injured, or some other consequences.

But of course, the contract remains intact, and the team has to pay the remaining salary for the remaining period of the player in order to waive them.

What happens when a player is waived in NBA?

The very first thing that actually happens when a player is waived is that they enter the waive-wire phase for almost two days or 48 hours. This is the period when the other NBA teams can try to sign the waived player and take on the contract from where they left from the previous team. The thing is, different NBA teams can try to claim the player from the waive-wire, and that is the reason most of the players get signed by other teams within this period.

What happens if a player is not signed during the waive-wire period?

Now, this is the question that most people get confused with. When a player is not signed or selected by any other NBA team during the waive-wire phase, that player enters the unrestricted free agency. If you are wondering what does it mean by unrestricted free agency, then it means that the player can sign for any team without any restrictions or limitations. The player can sign for any NBA team and continue to be part of their team from onwards.

Are there any specific rules for teams to waive a player?

There are not any specific rules for the teams to waive a player. Instead, they have to follow a procedure to waive a player. The procedure includes various steps and all of them should be taken care of before waiving a player.

First, the team has to contact the NBA commissioner and get approval for waiving the player. The critical and important thing to note here is that the teams cannot take their decision of waiving a player back after forwarding their request to the commissioner. After that, the commissioner usually consults the professional teams and approves the decision for waiving the player.

What if multiple teams want to sign a waived player?

It is pretty unusual for the waived players to be demanded by multiple teams at once, but this scenario can surely come up. The first thing is, the teams have to claim the player in the 48-hour waive-wire period given by the NBA to claim the player. If two or more teams put a claim on the player during the period, the team with the least winning rate is prioritized and given the player. Of course, the team also has to take over the contract and the player to get started with the player.

Are ‘being released’ and ‘being waived’ the same things in NBA?

In a manner of talking, yes! Being waved and being released in NBA can be called the same thing as the team still has to pay for the remaining contract’s salary whether the player is released or waived. The actual difference comes in between the period and signing of the player when being released.

Is there any specific period to waive a player?

There are specific time periods to release or sign players in various sports, and it can be very hassling for the teams to wait for that long. But in NBA, a player can be waived at any time of the season without any restriction or waiting period. But if a team wants to add the player to the roster after waiving the player, they will have to waive them before March 1st.  Otherwise, the player will not be added to the roster of the team.


After explaining everything in detail, you might have now understood what waiver means in NBA. It can be hard to understand it first, but as soon as you start analyzing the players and their contracts with the teams, you will understand how things proceed in NBA.

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