Thursday’s 2pm Central trade deadline is the final chance teams will have to make trades this season, and for some clubs, the opportunity cost is even larger. The Pacers have been sitting on a trade exception worth nearly $4.282MM since last year’s Danny Granger trade, but unless they use it before Thursday’s trade deadline, the exception vanishes. It’s unlikely they’ll use the majority of it, since they’re relatively close to the tax threshold, a line the team has long vowed not to cross, but they’ll lose the chance to expend even a portion of it unless they act this week. Indiana is one of seven teams with trade exceptions that expire with the trade deadline.
Four of those seven have trade exceptions worth in excess of $1MM, including the Nuggets, who have two exceptions valued at about $1.659MM and $1.169MM, respectively. Neither is the sort of powerful weapon that the Celtics have in their $12.9MM-plus Rajon Rondo exception, but they’re assets nonetheless. A trade exception allows a team to take in one or more players who make up to the value of the exception plus $100K. That means that two more of the seven teams with expiring trade exceptions can take back players with salaries of more than $1MM, since the Clippers and Kings have exceptions worth more than $900K. That leaves only the Wizards, who only have $16K left on the Eric Maynor trade exception they created last year, meaning their exception is effectively useless.
The trade deadline also compromises the value of disabled player exceptions, which five teams around the NBA possess. Those clubs will only be able to use those exceptions for a signing or to claim a player off waivers once Thursday passes. They won’t even be able to do that after March 10th, when disabled player exceptions fully expire.
Borrowing from our complete list of outstanding trade exceptions, here are the exceptions that will lapse at this week’s trade deadline:
Obtained: Andre Miller (Wizards)
Obtained: Jordan Hamilton (Rockets)
Golden State Warriors
Obtained: MarShon Brooks (Lakers)
Obtained: Kent Bazemore (Lakers)
Obtained: Danny Granger (Sixers)
Los Angeles Clippers
Obtained: Byron Mullens (Sixers)
Obtained: Antawn Jamison (Hawks)
San Antonio Spurs
Obtained: Nando De Colo (Raptors)