In response to the omicron variant of COVID-19, the NBA and the players’ union agreed to new rules aimed at helping teams submit fuller rosters and helping the league avoid postponements. Teams are allowed to sign a replacement player for each player who tests positive for COVID-19, and teams are obligatory sign at least one replacement player if two test positive, at least two replacement players if three test positive and at least three if four or more test positive, per ESPN. (For a match to be played, both teams must have eight players available.)
The new rules, which will be in effect until January 19, state that the salaries of replacement players will not count towards the salary cap or the luxury tax. When a team has multiple COVID cases on their roster and need to sign a replacement, the player must be available at the start of their next game.
More than 100 players have signed 10-day contracts, thanks to this new hardship bonus. Isaiah Thomas signed 10 days with the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, but spent most of the second stint in health and safety protocols. Lance Stephenson, Thomas’ teammate briefly with Grand Rapids Gold, reunited with the Indiana Pacers after spending 10 days with the Atlanta Hawks. Stephenson is on his second 10 days, and is expected to stay for the rest of the season, by Mark Stein.
Another unlikely meeting: Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat. The two-time champion brought his talents back to South Beach after traveling the world from Italy to Greece to Puerto Rico. Chalmers has since been called — you guessed it! — Grand Rapids, but his 10-day contract has expired. Chalmers still hasn’t recorded an NBA minute since 2018, when he was with the Memphis Grizzlies.
After being waived by the Milwaukee Bucks, DeMarcus Cousins has reportedly been on the verge of signing a 10-day contract with the Denver Nuggets for some time now. Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who coached Cousins in Sacramento, said Sunday that if that happened, it would be “a tremendous opportunity to reconnect with him.” Cousins remains a free agent, but Denver is still interested in signing him starting Thursday, by the Denver Post.
While most of these emergency signings are just that, in a few cases they have led to something bigger. Veteran Bismack Biyombo recently signed a season-ending contract with the Phoenix Suns after completing his 10 days, and Charlie Brown Jr. (Philadelphia 76ers), Theo Pinson (Dallas Mavericks), Brandon Goodwin (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Davon Reed (Denver Nuggets) turned their 10 days into a round trip. Previously, Alfonzo McKinnie worked his way into a standard deal with the Chicago Bulls and Quinndary Weatherspoon landed a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors.
Since January 5, conventional 10-day contracts – i.e. those that do not require the hardship allowance – can also be signed.
If you’re having trouble figuring out who went where, here’s a team-by-team list of players who have a 10-day contract, along with the date they signed (or, in some cases, the day the signing took place). been reported):
The Dallas Mavericks
- Marquese Chriss (January 10; third of 10 days)
- Cassius Stanley (January 8; second 10 days)
- Lance Stephenson (January 11; second 10 days)
Los Angeles Clippers
- Xavier Moon (January 14; third 10 days)
- Wenyen Gabriel (January 11; second 10 days)
the Los Angeles Lakers
- Stanley Johnson (January 6; second 10 days)
- Kyle Guy (January 10; second 10 days)
- Chris Silva (January 10; second 10 days)
- Jeff Dowtin (January 7)
- Langston Galloway (January 7)
Thunder of Oklahoma City
- Mamadi Diakite (January 11)
- Olivier Sarr (January 9)
- Paris Bass (January 12; second 10 days)
San Antonio Spurs
- Tyler Johnson (January 6)
- Anthony Lamb (January 6)
- DJ Wilson (January 7; second 10 days)
- Zylan Cheatham (January 12)
- Denzel Valentine (January 10)
- Norvel Shovel (January 7)
- Daniel House Jr. (January 6)
Wizards of Washington