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ESPN: Expect Nets to be ‘front of the line’ if Warriors’ Alfonzo McKinnie clears waivers

Golden State Warriors v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Free agency 2019 will never end.

The Nets now appear to be interested in Alfonzo McKinnie, the 6’8” small forward the Warriors waived officially Saturday. In a summary of possible NBA last minute moves, Bobby Marks writes...

Expect Brooklyn to be at the front of the line if former Warrior Alfonzo McKinnie clears waivers. The Nets have an open two-way spot available and can sign the forward as a replacement for the suspended Wilson Chandler (missing the first 25 games). If McKinnie is signed before the season, the forward can be used on the active roster for the first game of the season as long as Brooklyn designates three players to the inactive list. Chandler is on the active list for the first five games. Signing McKinnie to a standard contract would see Brooklyn waiting five games until Chandler is moved to the suspended list.

McKinnie, who is 27, played in 72 games for the Western Conference champs last season, often filling in for Kevin Durant. He averaged 4.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and shot better than 35 percent from deep in 14 minutes per game. He also played well in the post-season, particularly in the Western Conference Finals when he averaged 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 17.5 mpg off the bench. He lost out to Marquese Chriss this week in a competition for the Warriors’ final roster spot.

Teams will have 48 hours to submit a waiver claim on McKinnie, now that he’s waived. Given his basically risk-free contract (non-guaranteed minimum), somebody with a roster spot may claim him. Claim order is based on standings from the 2018-19 season. So the Knicks would at the top of list, the Nets 17th. A waiver claim won’t be officially processed until Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

Assuming no one picks McKinnie off waivers, the Nets have a couple of options if they want to sign him, as Bobby Marks writes. After waiving four players of their own Friday night, Brooklyn has 16 players on the roster, 15 guaranteed deals and Henry Ellenson on a two-way. The Nets could sign McKinnie as the second two-way and/or wait until November 1 and sign him as the Wilson Chandler replacement. Media reports have indicated that Lance Thomas is earmarked for that role but the ex-Knick played only 12 minutes in preseason.

On December 15, the end of Chandler’s PED suspension, the Nets would have to make a decision on the status of whoever has filled in. They can waive the player, waive Chandler and keep the player or move Chandler in a salary dump. (Coincidentally, December 15 is also the first day free agents signed in the summer, including Chandler, can be traded.)

McKinnie was an undrafted prospect who the Warriors signed in the summer of 2018 after he appeared in 25 games for the Toronto Raptors in 2017-18.