How NBA Playoff Eligibility Works
February 24th, 2008
A lot of people (four) have either e-mailed me about this or asked me about it on t’internet in recent days, about when players have to sign with a new team by in order to be eligible for the playoffs. Apparently there’s some confusion on the issue, particularly surrounding the March the 1st date.
So let’s clarify.
There is NO SIGN-BY DATE for playoff eligibility. You can sign whenever you want – even on the last of the regular season if you like – and still be eligible for the playoff roster.
The only stipulation is that you cannot have been on another team’s roster – or on waivers from another team – at close of business on March 1st. This makes the March 1st date a waive-by date, not a sign-by date. And that’s why players frequently get waived in the run-up to it, (such as Jamaal Magloire, Brent Barry and Flip Murray have so far) then sign with a new team after it, and still appear in the playoffs.
An example of this is Anthony Carter last season with the Denver Nuggets. He and Von Wafer both signed with Denver just before the end of the last regular season, because the Nuggets needed some insurance guards for the playoff push and didn’t want to sign them earlier because they were so deep into luxury tax territory. Vaekeaton didn’t then play in a playoff game for them, but Carter did, and the Dallas Mavericks and Kevin Willis did the same thing.
So there we go. Fun stuff.
I am continuously intrigued by the esoterica and minutiae of all the aspects of building a basketball team. I want to understand how to build the best basketball teams possible. No, I don’t know why, either.
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