No-trade clauses are rare in the NBA, and they’ve become even rarer in recent years. To be eligible to negotiate a no-trade clause, a player must have at least eight years of NBA experience and four years with his current team. Even if a player qualifies, his team is unlikely to restrict its flexibility by including a no-trade clause in his deal.
Still, even though there’s not a single NBA player with an explicit no-trade clause in his contract at the moment, there are several who will have the ability to veto trades in 2020/21.
A player who re-signs with his previous team on a one-year contract – or a two-year deal with an option year – is given no-trade protection. So is a player who signs an offer sheet and has that offer matched by his previous team. Players who accept one-year qualifying offers after their rookie contracts expire also receive veto power.
So far, only has met either the second or third of those guidelines in 2020/21, but there are many more who have met the first one. Here are the players who must give their consent if their teams want to trade them during the ’20/21 league year:
Players whose offer sheets were matched:
Players accepting qualifying offers:
- Denzel Valentine (Bulls)
Players re-signing for one year (or two years, with a second-year player/team option):
- Carmelo Anthony (Trail Blazers)
- Bismack Biyombo (Hornets)
- Willie Cauley-Stein (Mavericks)
- Matthew Dellavedova (Cavaliers)
- Goran Dragic (Heat)
- Jared Dudley (Lakers)
- James Ennis (Magic)
- Taj Gibson (Knicks)
- Udonis Haslem (Heat)
- Reggie Jackson (Clippers)
- DaQuan Jeffries (Kings)
- Tyler Johnson (Nets)
- Meyers Leonard (Heat): Traded
- Paul Millsap (Nuggets)
- Markieff Morris (Lakers)
- Patrick Patterson (Clippers)
- Elfrid Payton (Knicks)
- JaKarr Sampson (Pacers)
If any player who re-signed for one year approves a trade during the 2020/21 league year, he’ll have Non-Bird rights at season’s end instead of Early Bird or full Bird rights. That’s what happened to James Ennis last season — he would have had Early Bird rights at season’s end if he hadn’t approved a trade from Philadelphia to Orlando. In order to re-sign him this summer, the Magic had to use part of their mid-level exception, since his Non-Bird rights weren’t enough for his raise to $3.3MM.
Any player who consents to a trade will retain his veto ability on his new team, and would have to approve a subsequent deal as well.
Information from ESPN’s Bobby Marks was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.