Two stints with one team in one season

Two stints with one team in one season

Postby John Grasso » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:30 pm

Chris Johnson of Dayton last Friday night appeared in a game for the Utah Jazz. He began
the season in Philadelphia where he played 9 games before being released on 11/15/14.
Signed by Utah on 1/28/15 to a 10 day contract he appeared in 2 games for them before
being released on 2/7/15 when his 10 day contract expired. He was then signed by
Milwaukee to a 10 day contract on 3/6/15 and a second 10 day on 3/16/15 and played in 8
games for them. When the 2nd 10 day expired he was released by Milwaukee on 3/26/15
and re-signed by Utah on the same day.

He is only the 6th NBA player that I'm aware of to play for the same team in two
different stints in the same season. Ironically the previous one on this list is
also named Chris Johnson. But he was a different Chris Johnson who had attended
Louisiana State. He played for Portland, Boston and returned to Portland in 2010-11.

The others on the list are Tom Marshall - Cincinnati-Detroit-Cincinnati, 1957-58; Alex
Stivrins who began the 1992-93 season with Phoenix, then played for Atlanta, LA Clippers
and Milwaukee before returning to Phoenix; Herb Williams - Knicks-Raptors-Knicks, 1996-97
and Bobby Jones who began the 2007-08 season with Denver, then played for Memphis,
Houston, Miami and San Antonio before finishing the season with Denver.

Lewis Lloyd of Houston in 1989-90 should also be on the list bringing the total to seven.
Last edited by John Grasso on Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Two stints with one team in one season

Postby MCT » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:14 pm

There is another thread about this topic here:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3725

As discussed in that thread, Lewis Lloyd also did this with Houston in 1989-90. That thread also identifies a couple of other players who had two stints with the same team in the same season, with a stint with another team in between, but did not appear in any games during their first stint with the team they had two stints with.
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Re: Two stints with one team in one season

Postby John Grasso » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:33 am

Thanks, I'll add Lloyd to the list.
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Re: Two stints with one team in one season

Postby MCT » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:20 pm

I just found another player who did this: Larry Robinson in 1990-91.

Robinson began the season with the Bullets, who had signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent; was waived by the Bullets on 12/10/90; was signed to a 10-day contract by the Warriors on 1/8/91; was signed by the Warriors to a contract for the remainder of the season on 1/11/91; was waived by the Warriors on 3/19/91; then was signed by the Bullets to a contract for the remainder of the season on 4/18/91, with either two or three games left in the season (depending on whether Robinson was signed before or after the game the Bullets played on the day he was signed). For the season as a whole, Robinson played in 36 games, 24 with the Warriors and 12 with the Bullets. He appeared in 10 games during his first stint with the Bullets, 24 games during his stint with the Warriors, and 2 games during his second stint with the Bullets.

As a side note, in looking at Robinson's transaction history, I thought it was odd that the Warriors signed him for the remainder of the season just three days after signing him to a 10-day contract. I think I have figured out why they did this.

For as long as 10-day contracts have existed, there have been rules in place restricting the number of players a team can sign to 10-day contracts. In 1991, the rule was that a team couldn't have more players signed to 10-day contracts than they had players on the injured list. Essentially, a team was prohibited from signing players to 10-day contracts if they did not already have the required minimum number of roster spots, which was 12 at the time, filled by players on non-10-day contracts. A team that found itself below the minimum could not get up to the minimum by signing players to 10-day contracts. 10-day contracts were only available once the minimum had already been satisfied. (Over the years since then, the minimum roster size has been increased to 14, but teams are still allowed to sign players to 10-day contracts once they have 12 players under non-10-day contracts.)

Looking at the Warriors' roster, it appears to me that they were carrying the minimum of 12 players immediately prior to signing Robinson on 1/8/91, with no one on the injured list. The Warriors used 18 players during the season. Two of these players had been waived prior to 1/8, while four were not signed until 1/8 or later. Subtract those six players from the overall total of 18, and you're left with 12.

When the Warriors signed Robinson, they must have put somebody on the injured list. I haven't found any documentation of who it was, but I strongly suspect that it was Sarunas Marciulionis. Marciulionis did not appear in any games between 1/6/91 and 2/12/91.

On 1/11/91, the Warriors waived Steve Johnson, and signed Paul Mokeski to a 10-day contract. Because they only had one player on the injured list (Marciulionis), they couldn't carry more than one player on a 10-day contract. To get around this, they signed Robinson to a contract for the remainder of the season, so that Mokeski would be the only player under a 10-day contract.

NOTE: fourth paragraph above edited to correct erroneous information about the current minimum roster size and the current status of the rule restricting the number of players a team can sign to 10-day contracts.
Last edited by MCT on Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Two stints with one team in one season

Postby MCT » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:05 pm

I've found another player who did this, Michael Wilson in 1984-85. Originally drafted in the 3rd round (47th overall) by Cleveland in 1982, Wilson played in 32 NBA games during the 1983-84, 1984-85 and 1986-87 seasons.

Wilson started the 1984-85 season with the Nets; was waived in November; was claimed off waivers by the Cavaliers; was waived in December; then returned to the Nets on a 10-day contract in late December/early January.

For the season as a whole, Wilson played in 19 games, 11 with the Cavaliers and 8 with the Nets. He appeared in 5 games during his first stint with the Nets, 11 games during his stint with the Cavaliers, and 3 games during his second stint with the Nets.
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