Several Trade Exceptions Set To Expire

The February 20th trade deadline will bring an end to swap talk until the end of the season, and it also coincides with a day that an asset will vanish for a half-dozen NBA teams. Those clubs all have trade exceptions that expire on February 21st, the one-year anniversary of last year’s trade deadline. Trade exceptions can be used to claim a player off waivers, so it’s possible one of the six teams could make such a move on the 21st, but waiver claims are rare, so the trade deadline will effectively make these exceptions go away.

Another team faces a much more accelerated timetable if it wants to use its pair of exceptions that expire Thursday. The Grizzlies created two exceptions in the Rudy Gay trade that transpired on January 30th, 2013. They already missed last week’s deadline to use two exceptions, worth $2,083,042 and $762,195, that came about via last year’s three-for-one deal. Still, it seems there’s little chance that Memphis will make a move today or tomorrow that would allow the team to use its exceptions from the Gay trade, as I explain below.


  • $2,264,453 (Expires 1/30/14) — Memphis used most of what once was a $7,489,453 exception generated via the Gay trade to accommodate Courtney Lee‘s $5.225MM salary earlier this month.
  • $1,300,000 (Expires 1/30/14) — The Grizzlies also created this exception in the same trade that sent Gay to the Raptors. The $1.3MM is a vestige of Hamed Haddadi‘s salary. Still, with less than $1MM separating Memphis from luxury tax territory and little talk of a deal in the works, it seems doubtful that the Grizzlies will use either of these exceptions.


  • $854,389 — This exception is left over from the trade that sent Dexter Pittman to the Grizzlies, but it doesn’t provide much flexibility, since it could only be used to a minimum-salary player or a pro-rated contract.


  • $854,389 — Created in the deal that sent Ronnie Brewer to the Thunder, this exception will be of little use, just like Miami’s expiring trade exception. New York can only use it to absorb a minimum-salary player or a pro-rated contract.


  • $1,500,000 — The J.J. Redick deal already netted Orlando a key piece of its core in Tobias Harris, and the Magic could reap more even more benefits if they use this exception created from the salary of Gustavo Ayon, who also went to Milwaukee in the Redick trade.


  • $2,338,721 — Oklahoma City created this exception in the Eric Maynor trade last year, and it seems there’s a decent chance the Thunder will use it. They can use nearly the entire exception without going over the luxury tax line to bolster their roster for the playoffs.


  • $762,195 — Much like the trade exceptions for the Heat and Knicks, Golden State has limited flexibility. The only way the Warriors can use the exception they created when they shipped Jeremy Tyler to the Hawks is if they acquire a rookie or one-year vet making the minimum salary or another veteran on a pro-rated deal.


  • $314,387 — Washington already used most of this exception, originally valued at $1,198,680, to absorb Malcolm Lee‘s salary in the trade that brought in Marcin Gortat at the beginning of the season. The only sort of player the Wizards could acquire with the remaining portion of the exception, created when they offloaded Jordan Crawford, is someone on a tiny pro-rated contract. And that acquisition would have to come as a waiver claim, since no one with a salary small enough to fit is eligible to be traded.

To see all of the league’s outstanding trade exceptions, check out our updated list, which you can access year-round on the Hoops Rumors Features menu on the right side of the website.

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