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Deadline Trades Involving High Salaries Rare

Trade rumors have involved some fairly significant names in the past few days, some of whom are pulling down sizable salaries. Chief among them is Dwight Howard, who’s making more than $22.359MM this season on the maximum-salary contract he signed with the Rockets in 2013. Kevin Love, who just this past summer signed a max deal that gives him $19.689MM this season, has also drawn mention. However, in part because trades involving highly paid players are difficult to put together under the constraints of the league’s salary-matching rules, few who have especially impressive paychecks change teams this time of year.

No one who’s been traded during February in any of the past three years has had a higher salary than Danny Granger, who was due more than $14MM when he went from the Pacers to the Sixers in 2014. Only two others making $10MM or more have found themselves in trades at or near the deadline in the last three years. The deadline was particularly devoid of money changing hands in 2013, when J.J. Redick, with his $6.19MM salary, was the most well-compensated player to get swapped.

The list below shows the top salaries to change hands via trade during the month of February since 2013. Note that Marcus Thornton appears twice, having been included in trades each of the last two years. (He may again be traded this year, but he’s only making the minimum this time around.)

  1. Danny Granger, Pacers to Sixers, 2014 — $14,021,788
  2. Kevin Garnett, Nets to Timberwolves, 2015 — $12MM
  3. JaVale McGee, Nuggets to Sixers, 2015 — $11.25MM
  4. Thaddeus Young, Timberwolves to Nets, 2015 — $9,660,869
  5. Kendrick Perkins, Thunder to Jazz, 2015 — $9,654,342
  6. Marcus Thornton, Celtics to Suns, 2015 — $8.575MM
  7. Marcus Thornton, Kings to Nets, 2014 — $8.05MM
  8. Tayshaun Prince, Celtics to Pistons, 2015 — $7,707,865
  9. Arron Afflalo, Nuggets to Trail Blazers, 2015 — $7.75MM
  10. Goran Dragic, Suns to Heat, 2015 — $7.5MM
  11. Isaiah Thomas, Suns to Celtics, 2015 — $7,238,606
  12. Evan Turner, Sixers to Pacers, 2014 — $6,679,867
  13. Spencer Hawes, Sixers to Cavaliers, 2014 — $6.6MM
  14. J.J. Redick, Magic to Bucks, 2013 — $6.19MM

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

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