Unlike February 7, the date of this season’s trade deadline, January 15 probably isn’t a day that many NBA fans have circled on their calendars. Still, it represents an important date for NBA teams for a variety of transaction-related reasons.
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Here’s a breakdown of what to watch for today:
Players becoming trade-eligible:
Most players who signed as free agents during the 2018 offseason had their trade restrictions lifted on December 15, but a select group of players remained ineligible to be traded until today, January 15. These players all meet a specific set of criteria: Not only did they re-sign with their previous team this offseason, but they got a raise of at least 20%, their salary is worth more than the minimum, and their team was over the cap, using Bird or Early Bird rights to sign them.
Here’s the full list of players who fit that bill and became trade-eligible today:
- Marcus Smart (Celtics)
- Joe Harris (Nets)
- Zach LaVine (Bulls)
- Rodney Hood (Cavaliers)
- Will Barton (Nuggets)
- Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)
- Clint Capela (Rockets)
- Chris Paul (Rockets)
- Avery Bradley (Clippers)
- Montrezl Harrell (Clippers)
- Paul George (Thunder)
- Jerami Grant (Thunder)
- Aaron Gordon (Magic)
- Jusuf Nurkic (Trail Blazers)
- Davis Bertans (Spurs)
- Bryn Forbes (Spurs)
- Fred VanVleet (Raptors)
- Dante Exum (Jazz)
- Derrick Favors (Jazz)
- Raul Neto (Jazz)
Of those 20 players, two – Hood and LaVine – have the ability to veto trades for the 2018/19 season, so they can only be moved with their approval. LaVine, meanwhile, can’t be traded to the Kings at all this season.
Deadline to sign players to two-way contracts:
Tuesday represents the last day that a team can sign a player to a two-way contract for the 2018/19 season. Two-way players can, of course, be waived after today. But, starting tomorrow, they can’t be replaced. So we may see a small handful of moves completed today as clubs get those two-way slots in order for the second half.
The Bucks and Cavaliers have reportedly reached two-way agreements with Bonzie Colson and Deng Adel, respectively. Once those deals are finalized, only the Pelicans and the Trail Blazers will have empty two-way slots — New Orleans has one, while Portland has two.
The full list of current two-way contracts can be found right here.
Deadline to apply for a disabled player exception:
January 15 is also the last day for teams to apply for a disabled player exception for the 2018/19 season. This exception provides a little extra cap flexibility for clubs that have lost a player to a season-ending injury.
The Wizards recently applied for a disabled player exception after John Wall went down, and the Mavericks did the same following J.J. Barea‘s season-ending Achilles surgery. It’s not clear if any other teams will follow suit before today’s deadline.
As ESPN’s Bobby Marks observed on Monday (via Twitter), there’s little downside to applying for a disabled player exception, since the only real cost is filling out some paperwork. However, even if an exception is granted, it’s more likely than not to go unused. According to Marks, only 29% (13/45) of DPEs have been used.
The deadline to use a DPE is typically March 10. This year, that’s a Sunday, so the deadline will be pushed to March 11.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.