A trade kicker is a contractual clause that pays 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 as part of a deal, if he so chooses.
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 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 the Hoops Rumors Glossary entry on the subject.
Using contract from information from Basketball Insiders, here’s a list of the NBA players who have active trade kickers for 2018/19, listed alphabetically, along with the details of those trade bonuses:
- Steven Adams, Thunder (7.5%)
- LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs (15%)
- Kyle Anderson, Grizzlies (15%)
- Harrison Barnes, Mavericks (8%)
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lakers (15%)
- Anthony Davis, Pelicans (15%)
- Note: This trade bonus is not noted on Basketball Insiders, but is listed by several other outlets, including ESPN.
- Andre Drummond, Pistons (8%)
- Kevin Durant, Warriors (15%)
- Marc Gasol, Grizzlies (15%)
- Tim Hardaway Jr., Knicks (15%)
- James Harden, Rockets (15%)
- Al Horford, Celtics (15%)
- Tyler Johnson, Heat (15%)
- Kelly Olynyk, Heat (lesser of 5% or $2MM)
- J.J. Redick, Sixers (7.5%)
- Milos Teodosic, Clippers (15%)
- John Wall, Wizards (15%)
The following players have trade bonuses on their contracts, but those bonuses would be voided if they were to be traded during the 2018/19 league year, since they’re already earning this season’s maximum salary:
- Stephen Curry, Warriors (15%)
- Paul George, Thunder (15%)
- Gordon Hayward, Celtics (15%)
- LeBron James, Lakers (15%)
- Otto Porter, Wizards (15%)
- Russell Westbrook, Thunder (15%)
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.