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76ers save millions by claiming Sonny Weems off waivers


during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 21, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Christian Petersen

When the Suns waived Sonny Weems, the 76ers saw their golden ticket.

76ers release:

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team has claimed guard-forward Sonny Weems off of waivers.

Why did Philadelphia want the 29-year-old journeyman?

The 76ers were $2,630,651 below the salary floor before the waiver claim. They would have had to pay that amount to their players as punishment for not reaching the floor.

But Weems’ $2,814,000 salary lifts them over the floor, meaning they’ll no longer have to pay the shortfall.

The key for Philadelphia: It must pay only only Weems’ remaining salary – $629,012. Phoenix already paid the rest. The 76ers also must pay a $1,000 waiver fee to drop Christian Wood and clear a roster spot for Weems.

In simplest terms, Philadelphia is spending $630,012 to erase a $2,630,651 bill. That’s a profit of $2,000,639.

Not bad.

The 76ers did something similar with Thomas Robinson last year. It appeared Joel Anthony – acquired with a second-round pick – would serve a similar role this year, but the Pistons voided the three-way trade involving the Rockets, keeping Philadelphia below the floor.

So, the 76ers were waiting for someone like Weems – whose salary nearly matched their room below the floor – to come on the waiver wire.

Can he help them on the court? That’s the wrong question.

He has already made a multi-million impact where it counts.