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Teams cut players at rapid rate as contract deadline approaches

Jan 5, 2011, 1:46 PM EDT

Brian Skinner

The list of bench players waived by teams this week continues to grow faster than the mold on the Christmas leftovers still in the back of your refrigerator (you really should throw those out now).

Brian Skinner in Milwaukee, John Lucas III in Chicago, Ronald Dupree in Toronto, Ime Udoka in San Antonio, Damien Wilkins in Atlanta, Rodney Carney in Golden State, Steve Novak in Dallas, all let go… and that’s just in the last few hours. There have been and will be more.

On message boards across the land fans keep asking, “Is this clearing a roster spot to make way for a big trade?” No.

It is teams saving money — by next Monday, if you have a non-guaranteed contract and are still on a roster your contract becomes guaranteed for the rest of the season. So teams are waiving seldom-used guys whose deals are not already secure to save a few bucks (and create roster space).

A lot of these guys will go to the D-League or be picked up on 10-day contracts with teams. There will be a lot more purging over the coming days.

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