Players On De Facto Expiring Contracts

As we enter the NBA’s trade season, players on expiring contracts become coveted commodities, allowing teams to acquire talent without sacrificing future cap flexibility. Most avid NBA fans can probably list a few notable trade candidates on expiring deals without even looking up the player’s contract status — Luol Deng, Danny Granger, and Kyle Lowry are a few names that immediately come to mind.

In addition to those players in the last year of their contracts, there are plenty of guys around the league who are on de facto expiring deals. In other words, their contracts extend past this year, but at this point, they’re owed little or no guaranteed money beyond this season.

One example in Jameer Nelson in Orlando. The veteran point guard is under contract for $8MM in 2014/15, but only $2MM of that amount is currently guaranteed. So if a team were to acquire Nelson this season, it could do so with the knowledge that it wouldn’t necessarily have a big impact on next year’s books. Nelson would earn just $2MM if he’s released before July 15th, 2014, and will only earn his full $8MM salary if he remains under contract beyond that date.

Listed below are the guys on these unofficial expiring contracts this season, separated by those who are owed partial guarantees and those who aren’t owed any guaranteed salary. The following players are not listed:

  • Players with player options or early termination options in 2014/15. In these cases, the team has little to no agency in deciding whether or not to keep a player under contract, which makes it hard to treat that contract as expiring. Rudy Gay represents a prime example of this case, since his ’14/15 player option significantly complicates his trade value.
  • Players on non-guaranteed contracts for 2013/14. If they’re already on non-guaranteed deals, it’s safe to say they aren’t owed guaranteed money beyond this season.
  • Recent signees. We can probably assume that in-season additions like Malcolm Thomas (Spurs), Elliot Williams (76ers) and Lorenzo Brown (76ers) signed non-guaranteed deals, meaning they also won’t have guarantees for 2014/15 and beyond.

Here’s the full list:

Non-guaranteed for 2014/15:

Partially guaranteed for 2014/15:

ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.

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