Today is the day that most general managers in the NBA have been waiting for. December 15th is when most free agents signed over the summer become eligible to be traded, enabling teams dissatisfied with their offseasons to start making adjustments. This applies to players who re-signed with their teams, as well as restricted free agents who inked offer sheets with another team but had the offer sheets matched by their original team.
A few of the players signed this offseason have to wait a little bit longer. Anyone who signed after September 15th still isn't allowed to be traded, since it hasn't yet been three months after they signed. That includes training camp invitees who made their teams, like Rasheed Wallace and DeQuan Jones, and early season pickups, such as Josh Howard and Shaun Livingston. Players signed after November 21st this season can't be traded at all, since their three-month waiting period expires after the February 21st trade deadline.
There's another group that will become available to be traded January 15th. If a team that's over the cap re-signs a player using Bird rights or Early Bird rights and gives him a raise of better than 20%, and the player had been making more than the minimum salary, the team can't trade that player until January 15th or three months after the signing, whichever is later.
With an assist from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links) and the ESPN.com Trade Machine, here's a list of players who will become eligible to be traded January 15th:
- Darrell Arthur, Grizzlies
- Nicolas Batum, Blazers
- Brandon Bass, Celtics
- Chauncey Billups, Clippers
- Jeremy Evans, Jazz
- Eric Gordon, Hornets
- Danny Green, Spurs
- Jeff Green, Celtics
- Roy Hibbert, Pacers
- George Hill, Pacers
- Jordan Hill, Lakers
- Kris Humphries, Nets
- Ersan Ilyasova, Bucks
- Brook Lopez, Nets
- JaVale McGee, Nuggets
- Brandon Rush, Warriors
- Marreese Speights, Grizzlies
- Jason Thompson, Kings
Here's a list of training camp invitees and early season signees who'll be eligible to be traded later on this season, along with the earliest date they can be included in trades.
- Ben Hansbrough, Pacers, December 17th
- Josh Harrellson, Heat, December 17th
- Earl Barron, Wizards, December 19th
- Louis Amundson, Timberwolves, December 24th
- Anthony Tolliver, Hawks, December 25th
- Damien Wilkins, Sixers, December 27th
- Diante Garrett, Suns, December 28th
- Luke Zeller, Suns, December 28th
- DeQuan Jones, Magic, December 29th
- Rasheed Wallace, Knicks, January 3rd
- Leandro Barbosa, Celtics, January 18th
- Daniel Orton, Thunder, January 31st
- Josh Howard, Timberwolves, February 15th
- Shaun Livingston, Wizards, February 15th
A few notes:
- Spears lists Lavoy Allen and Steve Novak as being ineligible to be traded until January 15th, but I think those guys are eligible to be traded as of today, because they made the minimum salary last season.
- Chauncey Billups isn't on Spears' list, but he's included on the ESPN Trade Machine list, and I think ESPN is right, unless there's a rule I don't know about regarding players who were amnestied, as Billups was before the 2011/12 season.
- Earlier, I thought Ryan Anderson wouldn't be eligible to be traded until January 15th, since the Magic, who technically signed him as part of the sign-and-trade that sent him to the Hornets, were over the cap. However, Grantland's Zach Lowe confirmed that he's eligible as of today, because the Hornets were under the cap when the deal went down.
Larry Coon's NBA Salary Cap FAQ was used in the creation of this post.