With the marked jump in the salary cap this season, expiring contracts aren’t quite what they used to be as trade chips. The shorter contracts that have come about in the past few years thanks to new rules imposed in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement have meant more teams have the opportunity to open cap space each year, which decreases the value of trading for a player in the final year of his contract.
The majority of teams will start next summer under the cap, and many will possess the amount of cap space necessary to sign a maximum-salary free agent. Still, expiring contracts can be effective trade assets under the right circumstances. These players come with little financial risk to the teams acquiring them, given they will be off a team’s books by the time the next free agent signing period commences. The cost in acquiring players in this category is often below their actual value, since they are ostensibly just short-term rentals. Plus, it also allows franchises to see how a pending free agent fits within its system and locker room culture.
Here’s a rundown of each player who has an expiring contract with a salary of greater than $8MM for the 2016/17 campaign:
- Derrick Rose [Knicks] — $21,323,252
- Jeff Green [Magic] — $15,000,000
- Manu Ginobili [Spurs] — $14,000,000
- Serge Ibaka [Magic] — $12,250,000
- Stephen Curry [Warriors] — $12,112,359
- Amir Johnson [Celtics] — $12,000,000
- Jrue Holiday [Pelicans] — $11,286,518
- Andre Iguodala [Warriors] — $11,131,368
- Andrew Bogut [Mavericks] — $11,027,027
- Zach Randolph [Grizzlies] — $10,361,445
- Tyreke Evans [Pelicans] — $10,203,755
- Deron Williams [Mavericks] — $9,000,000
- Taj Gibson [Bulls] — $8,950,000
- Jeff Teague [Pacers] — $8,800,000
- Tiago Splitter [Hawks] — $8,550,000
- Ersan Ilyasova [Thunder] — $8,400,000
- Kevin Garnett [Timberwolves] — $8,000,000
- George Hill [Jazz] — $8,000,000
- Sergio Rodriguez [Sixers] — $8,000,000
Which of the above players, excluding Curry for obvious reasons, is the most valuable trade chip this season? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts.
Note: The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.