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.