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Special Trade Eligibility Dates

A subtle NBA deadline passed on Wednesday last week, the date exactly three months before the February 18th trade deadline. Free agent signees aren’t eligible for trades until at least three months have passed from the time they put pen to paper. That means any player who signs at any point during the rest of 2015/16 regular season can’t be included in a trade until after it’s over. If a team signs a player using draft rights anytime between now and January 18th, it can trade him this season, but such a scenario is unlikely.

The passage of the three-months-to-go mark in advance of the trade deadline leaves teams with few avenues to pursue swaps until December 15th, the date that most of the players who signed this past summer become eligible to be traded. However, a sizable chunk of those signees won’t be trade-eligible for a while longer than that. January 15th is the first day for trades involving free agents who re-signed with their teams via Bird rights or Early Bird rights and received a starting salary greater than the minimum salary and at least 20% more than what they made last season, as long as their teams were over the cap when the signings took place. That’s a lengthy set of stipulations, but it still encompasses two dozen players.

Several others have trade-eligibility dates that come up on the three-month anniversaries of their signings. Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler weren’t free agents this summer, but because the renegotiations-and-extensions they signed in the offseason were larger than what would be allowed in extend-and-trade transactions, they can’t be traded until the respective six-month anniversaries of their new deals.

Note that the list below doesn’t include players who can veto trades or players who have special restrictions on where and how they may be traded, like Mario Chalmers, who may be traded again any time but whose salary can’t be aggregated in a trade until January 10th, two months after the deal that sent him to the Grizzlies. It simply serves as a reference that shows the dates (aside from December 15th) between now and the February 18th trade deadline when certain players become eligible for inclusion in trades:

December 22nd

December 24th

December 25th

December 27th

December 28th

December 30th

January 11th

January 15th

January 22nd

January 30th

February 2nd

February 4th

February 5th

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

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