Traded player exceptions, which we’ve explained extensively in a Hoops Rumors glossary entry, are a tool that over-the-cap teams can use to complete trades. For mid-season deals, when most teams are at or over the salary cap, these exceptions are typically used and created frequently.
This summer, however, with the salary cap increasing by more than $24MM and most teams choosing to use cap room rather than staying over the cap, trade exceptions have become scarcer — and less useful. In order for teams to actually use their available cap room to take on salaries or to sign free agents, those exceptions must be renounced.
Heading into the 2016/17 league year, teams around the NBA held a total of 29 trade exceptions. After the new league year officially got underway and the moratorium ended, the majority of those TPEs were lost. In total, 22 of the 29 previously-existing traded player exceptions were renounced or expired.
Earlier this month, only the Clippers, Cavaliers, and Thunder still held any TPEs, with Cleveland hanging onto five of them, and L.A. and OKC holding one apiece. Over the last week or so, a few new trade exceptions have been created, but with so many teams still under the cap, the full list is much shorter than it has been in past years.
Here’s a breakdown of the newly-created TPEs:
How it was created: When the Grizzlies signed Troy Daniels away from the Hornets, they did so in a sign-and-trade deal, allowing Charlotte to create a TPE for half of Daniels’ $3,332,940 salary.
How it was created: The Cavaliers created this TPE worth Sasha Kaun‘s 2016/17 salary when they sent him to Philadelphia without receiving any NBA salary in return.
(Note: The Cavaliers also created a $4,803,750 trade exception by signing-and-trading Matthew Dellavedova to the Bucks, but immediately used that exception to acquire Mike Dunleavy.)
Los Angeles Clippers
How it was created: When the Clippers acquired Devyn Marble from the Magic for C.J. Wilcox, the team actually used its old $947,276 TPE (acquired in January’s Josh Smith trade) to absorb Marble’s salary, then created a new exception worth Wilcox’s salary.
The traded player exceptions listed above have been added to our full breakdown of the TPEs available around the league. That list no longer includes the $2,038,206 exception the Thunder created last summer when they sent Perry Jones III to the Celtics — that TPE expired on July 14.
Our full list of TPEs also no longer features the following exceptions, all of which were renounced earlier this month when these teams went under the cap (expiry date listed in parentheses):
- Atlanta Hawks: $947,276 (2/18/17)
- Brooklyn Nets: $2,170,465 (7/13/16)
- Chicago Bulls: $2,854,940 (2/18/17)
- Chicago Bulls: $947,276 (6/22/17)
- Denver Nuggets: $135,000 (2/18/17)
- Detroit Pistons: $6,270,000 (6/29/17)
- Golden State Warriors: $5,387,825 (7/27/16)
- Golden State Warriors: $3,197,170 (7/31/16)
- Memphis Grizzlies: $450,000 (2/18/17)
- Miami Heat: $1,706,250 (7/27/16)
- Miami Heat: $1,294,440 (7/27/16)
- Miami Heat: $2,129,535 (11/10/16)
- Miami Heat: $2,145,060 (2/16/17)
- Miami Heat: $845,059 (2/18/17)
- Miami Heat: $2,854,940 (2/18/17)
- Milwaukee Bucks: $5,200,000 (7/9/16)
- Milwaukee Bucks: $4,250,000 (7/9/16)
- Minnesota Timberwolves: $5,000,000 (7/12/16)
- New Orleans Pelicans: $102,217 (12/24/16)
- New York Knicks: $1,572,360 (6/22/17)
- Phoenix Suns: $578,651 (2/18/17)
Information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post.