The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement includes a rule that states players who are acquired using an exception (ie. not using cap space) can’t be aggregated in a second trade for two months after the original deal.
Aggregating a player in a trade refers to the act of combining his contract with another player’s contract for salary-matching purposes. For instance, an over-the-cap team can’t trade a player with a $5MM salary straight up for a player with a $13MM salary. But if the team aggregates that player with a second player who also earns $5MM, the deal would work.
The rule against including a player in an aggregated trade for two months after he’s acquired doesn’t preclude the player’s team from adding him to a multi-player deal. His salary simply can’t be relied upon for matching purposes in such a trade.
For instance, even if a player earning a minimum salary can’t be aggregated in a trade, his team could still attach him to a swap involving a pair of $10MM players, since his minimum-salary cap hit wouldn’t be needed for salary matching.
With those rules in mind, here’s the list of players who have been traded within the last two months and can’t be aggregated in a trade, at least for now:
Restrictions lifting January 29:
Restrictions lifting February 7:
- George Hill (Bucks)
- Jason Smith (Bucks)
- Sam Dekker (Wizards)
- Matthew Dellavedova (Cavaliers)
- John Henson (Cavaliers)
Restrictions not lifting before trade deadline: