DJ Mbenga, a Warrior no longer

The DJ Mbenga experiment ended after 16 games when the Warriors waived the 7-foot center Sunday, beating the deadline before his deal would have become guaranteed and saving themselves roughly $500,000 in salary costs.

Executive vice president Chris Mullin had said previously that the deadline “probably will just come and go” for Mbenga; instead, the Warriors reversed course, coming to a different decision over the weekend in the interest of greater flexibility. Both Mullin and coach Don Nelson stressed that Mbenga did nothing wrong from an on-court standpoint.

The move opens up a roster spot that the Warriors could potentially fill with an unbalanced trade, or by signing a player from the NBA Development League — something they did last January with Kelenna Azubuike — or by signing someone to a 10-day contract as an audition.

In the meantime, rookie center Kosta Perovic will be recalled from the Warriors’ D-League affiliate, the Bakersfield Jam.

Geoff Lepper

Geoff Lepper has covered the Warriors since 2005 for the Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times. Before that, he covered baseball and college sports for the Marin Independent Journal.

  • petaluman

    Can’t say I’m surprised by this move. We knew Mbenga’s contract was not guaranteed. It was worth it a look at him, but center is not our position of greatest need. Croshere is due back, and KP will get a chance to work with the varsity squad.

    I’m not clear on Hudson’s situation, however. Has he had the surgery yet? They won’t really know his expected recovery time until they’ve operated. Is he eligible for a medical exception this year? If so, can we waive him first, or do we need to file for the exception? Have we already filed, or is that confidential information? How long does the NBA have to respond after filing?

  • Geoff Lepper

    Petaluman: There’s been no word on Troy’s surgery, so I don’t know what the status is there, but the Warriors won’t be eligible for a medical exemption from the situation.

    First, you only qualify for that if a player has to retire due to the injury. Troy clearly hopes to play next season, and this is not supposed to be a career-ending surgery.

    Second, you must wait a year before applying for the exemption, and since Troy’s contract runs out at the end of this season, it’s a moot point.

    — Geoff

  • commish

    Rumor is the Dubs will call up C.J. Watson from the D League as a back up combo guard. Other rumors include us trying to pick up Mike Miller using the TPE. One thing for sure: if the Dubs want to have any chance of finishing at least 8th, they are going to have to upgrade their current roster. The Hornets and Blazers showed us that at home and away.

  • Steve from Concord

    Why not let Perovic stay in the developement league where he can get
    playing time and an improve his game? He certainly won’t get any playing time as Mbenga’s replacement.

  • EJ

    it’s going to be tough to see mbenga go. he was such a great story with all he’s gone through before the nba. i’m sure he’ll find work in the league again soon.