The 2020 NBA trade deadline is now behind us, but it’s not the last notable date on the 2019/20 regular season calendar.
Here are a few more dates and deadlines to keep an eye out for over the next couple months:
- Last day for contract renegotiations
Players eligible for veteran contract extensions can continue to negotiate those deals through the rest of the league year. However, if a player wants to renegotiate his contract to receive a raise on his current-year salary as part of an extension, it must happen by the end of this month.
In order to renegotiate a contract though, a team must have cap room. For most of the 2019/20 season, the Hawks were the only NBA team with cap room, but even they went over the cap at the trade deadline. So we shouldn’t expect any contract renegotiations to happen during the next couple weeks.
- Last day a player can be waived by one team and remain eligible to appear in the postseason for another team.
This rule is often the source of confusion. A player who is released by a team doesn’t have to sign with a new team by March 1 in order to be playoff-eligible this spring. He simply has to be waived by his current team before the end of the day on March 1.
As long as he’s no longer under contract by 11:59 pm ET on March 1, a player could theoretically wait until the last day of the regular season to sign with a new club and still retain his postseason eligibility. But if he’s cut on March 2 instead, he loses that postseason eligibility.
We’re keeping an eye on the 2020 buyout market in this space.
- Last day to use a disabled player exception.
Seven teams were granted disabled player exceptions this season and only the Wizards used theirs at the trade deadline, accommodating Shabazz Napier‘s salary with the DPE they received for C.J. Miles‘ season-ending injury.
Of the six remaining, the Pistons ($9,258,000) and Magic ($4,629,000) have the biggest disabled player exceptions, but it’s hard to imagine either of those teams aggressively pursuing anyone expensive on the buyout market. Orlando is more likely to do so, but it will depend on who becomes available.
The Lakers‘ $1,750,000 DPE may be the one most likely to be used, since L.A. has no other cap exceptions worth more than the minimum. If there’s a player the Lakers like and they’re bidding against teams that can only offer the minimum, that $1.75MM exception should be a useful tool.
The Pelicans ($3,625,000), Trail Blazers ($2,859,000), and Nets ($839,427) also have disabled player exceptions available. For more info on how DPEs work, be sure to check out our glossary entry.
- Last day of the regular season.
- Last day players can sign contracts for 2019/20
- Last day two-way contracts can be converted to standard NBA contracts.
- Luxury tax penalties calculated based on payroll as of this day.
Although we don’t always see a flurry of last-minute activity on the very last day of the regular season, teams around the NBA figure to be active leading up to this date.
Playoff clubs will typically make sure their rosters are fully stocked for the postseason. Even a team with tax concerns that has avoided carrying a full 15-man roster all season will consider filling that 15th spot on the last day of the season, since the prorated minimum-salary cap hit would be less than $10K and the accompanying tax penalty would be very modest.
Meanwhile, lottery-bound teams will often fill their rosters by taking a flier on a prospect or two, signing them to multiyear contracts that include little to no guaranteed money for 2020/21. That way, they can hang onto them for next season if they want, or cut bait during the offseason without any real impact to their cap for next season.
These end-of-season roster moves often fly under the radar, but they’re worth keeping an eye on. Just ask the Heat, who signed Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn to team-friendly three-year contracts at the very end of the 2018/19 regular season.
- Playoff rosters set (2:00pm CT).
The NBA postseason gets underway on April 18 this season, so the 16 teams in the playoffs will have to make sure their rosters are set a day before that.