At the start of any NBA season, there’s generally a long list of players who can’t be traded. Most of those players signed new contracts during the offseason and subsequently don’t become trade-eligible until at least December 15. Offseason signees who meet certain criteria don’t have their trade restrictions lift until January 15.
Now that both of those dates are behind us, the list of players who are still ineligible to be traded has shrunk considerably. However, there are still several guys around the NBA who won’t have to worry about hearing their names pop up in trade rumors this week, since they can’t be dealt.
Here’s a breakdown of the players who aren’t eligible to be traded at this Thursday’s deadline:
Designated Veteran Extension recipients:
The Designated Veteran Extension, a super-max deal introduced in the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, made its debut during the 2017/18 league year, and the four players listed above were the first stars to receive the new form of extension. Once a player signs a Designated Veteran Extension, he’s ineligible to be traded for one year, which means that Curry (July 6), Harden (July 7), Wall (July 26), and Westbrook (September 29) can’t be traded for a while — not that they would have been anyway.
Veteran contract extension recipients:
Aldridge, Covington, Powell, and Richardson didn’t get Designated Veteran Extensions, but they did all sign veteran contract extensions that exceeded the very restrictive limits of an extend-and-trade transaction. As such, they can’t be traded for six months after signing their new deals. All four players signed their extensions between September 18 and November 17, meaning their trade windows won’t open until after the regular season.
Recently signed players:
- Trey Burke (Knicks)
- Dwight Buycks (Pistons)
- Isaiah Canaan (Suns)
- Tyler Cavanaugh (Hawks)
- Josh Gray (Suns)*
- Gerald Green (Rockets)
- Sean Kilpatrick (Bucks)
- DeAndre Liggins (Pelicans)
- Emeka Okafor (Pelicans)*
- Alex Poythress (Pacers)
The NBA’s trade eligibility rules dictate that a player who signs with a team as a free agent can’t be traded for three months or until December 15, whichever comes later. That’s why most players who sign in July aren’t trade-eligible until December 15. For players who sign after September 15 though, that three-month restriction applies.
In the case of the players listed above, their deals were signed sometime after November 8. That means their three-month restriction won’t lift in time for the February 8 trade deadline.
As for Gray and Okafor, marked with asterisks, they’re simply on 10-day contracts, making them ineligible to be moved.