Today is January 15th, which means that a number of players who had been ineligible to be traded until this point are now free to be moved by their respective teams. As Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors outlined last month, Eric Gordon, Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Ersan Ilyasova, and Jeff Green are among the players who weren't eligible to be dealt until today.
However, in addition to rules that keeps players from being traded until December 15th or January 15th, the CBA also includes a stipulation that a team must have a player on its roster for three months before being able to trade him. That means guys who have signed contracts since October 15th are still ineligible to be dealt.
Here are the players who can't be traded quite yet, along with the dates they'll become trade-eligible:
Because the trade deadline arrives on February 21st, players signed after November 21st won't become trade-eligible until after the season. Here are the guys who fit that description:
In addition to recent signees, players who were claimed off amnesty waivers last July are also ineligible to be traded until July 2013. Some amnesty victims, like Andray Blatche, cleared waivers without being claimed and signed new contracts, so they're trade-eligible now, but the following players can't be moved this season:
Finally, players on 10-day contracts, such as Dominic McGuire, Maalik Wayns, and Josh Harrellson, also won't be trade-eligible at any point this season, even if they eventually receive rest-of-season contracts.
While the Pacers didn't necessarily want to cut Sam Young, a recent ankle injury that required several weeks of recovery coupled with the need for more help at the wing position had forced Indiana's hand, says Mike Wells of IndyStar.com. Wells also writes that the team will likely sign someone to a 10-day contract and thinks about Dominic McGuire as a possible fit. Lastly, he believes that guard Ben Hansbrough will remain on the team for the rest of the season. Here are a few more tidbits we've heard from the Central Division tonight:
Bob Finnan of The News-Herald blames Cavs GM Chris Grant and coach Byron Scott for the team's struggles this season, and calls on the team to take a more aggressive approach and pull the trigger on a deal for a "good, young piece" at the trade deadline if someone like that is available. The Cavs should carry that aggression into free agency, Finnan believes, and use their cap space for better assets than they've pursued recently. Finnan has more on the team, which we'll round up along with other notes from their Central Division rivals.
SUNDAY, 10:22am: The Bulls officially announced their signing of Cook, via press release. The move brings the team's roster to 14 players.
FRIDAY, 5:15pm: Cook has cleared waivers and will sign with the Bulls, according to his agent, Mike Conley Sr., Stein reports (Twitter link). Given Chicago's salary constraints, the deal will have to be for the minimum.
4:12pm: Cook has indeed cleared waivers, making him an unrestricted free agent, tweets Stein.
4:03pm: Daequan Cook was waived by the Rockets two days ago, which means he's set to clear waivers today. While it's possible that a team submitted a waiver claim for him, it's more likely that no club is willing to take on his guaranteed $3MM+ 2012/13 salary. Assuming Cook clears waivers, the Bulls are "firmly in the lead" to sign him, reports ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter).
The Bulls' roster moves this season have been limited by the club's proximity to the hard cap, which doesn't allow for much flexibility. Still, Chicago has the room necessary to take on a minimum-salary player for the rest of the year. 10-day contracts can also be signed starting on Monday, though it's not clear if Cook would be open to a 10-day deal or whether he's seeking a full-season guarantee.
Cook, 25, headed to Houston in October's James Harden blockbuster, and averaged career-lows in minutes (10.3) and points (3.4) per game in his 16 appearances for the Rockets. He was still effective from three-point range, however, with his 36.7% mark this season right in line with his career average (36.5%).
It's an active Friday for Chicago. The Bulls zeroed in on their first in-season signing, as they're set to bring Daequan Cook aboard, and they're taking on the Heat in Miami tonight. A win and a Pacers loss could leave them in a tie for first place in the Central Division, even with Derrick Rose still on the shelf. Amid that sort of optimism, here's the latest out of the Windy City.
Despite Kevin Love leaving last night's game against the Nuggets in the second half, the Timberwolves managed to do something only the Heat had accomplished this season: Win in Denver. The victory pulled the Timberwolves within a half-game of the Nuggets, and into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. As the Wolves continue jockeying for position in the West, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities rounds up plenty of rumors out of Minnesota. Here are the highlights:
WEDNESDAY, 10:30am: The Rockets have officially signed Anderson and waived Cook, the team announced today in a press release.
SUNDAY, 4:44pm: Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets that Anderson's deal with the Rockets will be for three years, the third of which will be a team option. Daequan Cook is expected to be waived in order to clear a roster spot for Anderson.
The timing of the signing is interesting, given the news earlier today that Royce White is refusing an assignment to the D-League on account of his anxiety disorder. The Rockets have previously shown no indication that they are considering waiving White, who has yet to play for the Rockets. The team has 15 players under contract, so waiving a player is necessary to sign him. Of these players, Scott Machado and Greg Smith have nonguaranteed deals, but Smith has been solid in major minutes and the Rockets have shown every indication of wanting to keep Machado. It would seem that White would be next in line to get cut, but the Rockets have yet to make an official announcement on the matter.
In 10 games with the Spurs this season, Anderson averaged 3.4 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 9.4 MPG.
With this season's deadline still three months away, the trade market likely won't be too active for at least a few more weeks. However, as Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld writes, things could start to pick up on December 15th, when most players who signed over the summer are eligible to be dealt. Kyler looks at a few specific trade candidates in his latest piece, so let's round up the highlights....
MONDAY, 1:30pm: All the physicals and paperwork relating to the Harden trade have been completed, meaning the Rockets can now officially negotiate and sign an extension for Harden, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). As Feigen notes, extension talks shouldn't drag on, since a max-salary offer is expected.
SUNDAY, 1:49pm: According to SI.com's Ben Golliver, Harden has indicated he will sign a maximum extension with the Rockets before Wednesday's deadline.
10:15am: Harden has expressed interest in the maximum-salary deal that the Rockets will offer him, Mark Berman of Fox 26 hears (Twitter link). Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has no doubt Harden will sign the extension, calling it a "slam dunk" (Twitter link).
SATURDAY, 10:42pm: Wojnarowski adds that the Rockets, unlike the Thunder, are able to give Harden a five-year maximum extension. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allowed to designate one player to receive a five-year max extension, and the Thunder have already given one to Russell Westbrook. You can view a complete list of teams who have used their five-year extensions here.
10:20pm: Wojnarowski reports (Twitter links) that the Thunder's final offer to Harden was for between $53 and $54MM over four years, and the extension the Rockets will give him once the trade is completed will be worth $60MM over four years.
10:14pm: ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports that the Rockets plan to sign Harden to the maximum four-year contract extension he was seeking from the Thunder before Wednesday's deadline.
10:06pm: Wojnarowski has clarified the draft picks the Thunder will receive in the deal (Twitter links). Oklahoma City will receive 2013 first-round picks from the Rockets belonging to Dallas and Toronto, in addition to a 2013 second-round pick belonging to Charlotte.
10:02pm: Specifics of the picks the Thunder will receive from the Rockets are not clear, but Wojnarowski reports that they will be "significant." He adds that Thunder GM Sam Presti quickly decided to trade Harden after extension talks broke down. Earlier Saturday, Wojnarowski reported that Harden had rejected an offer of four years at $52MM from the Thunder but that the sides were continuing to negotiate.
9:47pm: Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports (all Twitter links) that the Oklahoma City Thunder have traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets along with Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward, and Daequan Cook in exchange for Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, and future draft picks.
When GMs were polled recently on their thoughts about the upcoming season, the only two teams who received consideration to win the Western Conference other than the Lakers were the Thunder and Nuggets. The nod to Oklahoma City is no surprise, but the mention of Denver might have raised a few eyebrows, since the Nuggets haven't gotten out of the first round the past three years. Nuggets coach George Karl would be pleased if his team notched 50 wins, but with Andre Iguodala on board, he believes this year's squad has a chance to break the franchise record of 54 victories, as Aaron J. Lopez of Nuggets.com writes. Here's the latest on a couple of the Nuggets' division rivals.