Trade kickers are contractual clauses that pay a player a bonus when he’s traded. They’re one of the tools teams have at their disposal to differentiate their free agent offers from the ones put on the table by competing clubs.
According to the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, a trade bonus must be paid by the team that trades the player, rather than the team acquiring him. The new CBA also allows a player to waive his trade kicker, if he so chooses, as Allen Crabbe recently did when he was sent from Portland to Brooklyn.
Sometimes the kicker is worth a fixed amount, but usually it’s based on a percentage of the remaining value of the contract. So, a player who has a 10% trade kicker is given 10% of the amount of money he has yet to collect on his deal.
The trade kicker on Kelly Olynyk‘s new contract is an unusual one, as it calls for him to see either a set amount ($2MM) or 15% of the value of his contract, whichever is less. Regardless of whether a trade kicker is set at a fixed amount or a percentage, the bonus can’t exceed 15% of the remaining value of the contract. Most trade kickers are worth 15%, the highest percentage allowed.
If you want a more detailed explanation of how trade kickers work, check out our Hoops Rumors Glossary entry on the subject.
Using contract from information from Basketball Insiders and ESPN, here’s a list of the NBA players who have active trade kickers for 2017/18, listed alphabetically, along with the details of those trade bonuses:
- Steven Adams, Thunder (7.5%)
- LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs (15%)
- Harrison Barnes, Mavericks (8%)
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lakers (15%)
- Andre Drummond, Pistons (8%)
- Kevin Durant, Warriors (15%)
- Marc Gasol, Grizzlies (15%)
- Blake Griffin, Clippers (15%)
- Tim Hardaway Jr., Knicks (15%)
- James Harden, Rockets (15%)
- Note: Harden can’t be traded during the 2017/18 league year.
- Al Horford, Celtics (15%)
- LeBron James, Cavaliers (15%)
- Tyler Johnson, Heat (15%)
- DeAndre Jordan, Clippers (15%)
- Kawhi Leonard, Spurs (15%)
- Jeremy Lin, Nets (10%)
- Shabazz Muhammad, Timberwolves (15%)
- Kelly Olynyk, Heat (lesser of 5% or $2MM)
- Milos Teodosic, Clippers (15%)
- Russell Westbrook, Thunder (15%)
- Brandan Wright, Grizzlies (15%)
The following players have trade bonuses on their contracts, but those bonuses would be voided if they were to be traded during the 2017/18 league year, since they’re already earning this season’s maximum salary:
- Stephen Curry, Warriors (15%)
- Note: Curry can’t be traded during the 2017/18 league year.
- Gordon Hayward, Celtics (15%)
- Otto Porter, Wizards (15%)
Finally, while Basketball Insiders and ESPN agreed on all the players mentioned above, only one of the two outlets lists each of the following trade kickers. If we receive confirmation on the details of any of these bonuses, we’ll update our list to reflect the correct info. For now, here’s what we know about these players and their potential trade kickers: