As we explained when we identified the players who will become trade-eligible on unique dates this season, there’s a small group of players whose trade restrictions won’t lift until sometime after the February 9 trade deadline. These players meet one of the following criteria:
- They signed a free agent contract after November 9.
- A player who signs a free agent contract doesn’t become eligible to be traded for at least three months.
- They signed a veteran contract extension (meeting certain criteria) after August 9.
- A player who signs a veteran extension that keeps him under contract for more than three total years (including his current contract) and/or includes a raise exceeding 5% doesn’t become eligible to be traded for six months.
- They signed a super-max contract contract.
- A player who signs a super-max contract (or a designated veteran contract) doesn’t become eligible to be traded for one year.
We identified all the players who fell into these three categories in our previous story on unique trade dates, but they may have slipped through the cracks amid the larger list of players we discussed in that article.
For that reason, we want to specifically single them out today to make sure it’s clear which players won’t become trade-eligible at all until sometime after the 2022/23 regular season.
Here are the players who fall into the three aforementioned groups and who can’t be traded this season:
Players who have signed free agent contracts since November 9:
There has been little action on the free agent market since the regular season began, with most players who have signed with NBA teams receiving two-way contracts rather than standard deals. Technically, three players have signed standard free agent contracts since November 9, but one of those players (Alize Johnson) was waived since then.
More names will join this list if more free agents sign standard contracts between now and February 9.
Players who have signed veteran contract extensions meeting certain criteria since August 9:
- LeBron James (Lakers)
- Maxi Kleber (Mavericks)
- CJ McCollum (Pelicans)
- Larry Nance Jr. (Pelicans)
- Dean Wade (Cavaliers)
- Andrew Wiggins (Warriors)
This is the most notable group of the three, if only for the presence of James at the top of the list.
It’s extremely unlikely that the Lakers would ever trade LeBron unless he asked to be moved, but his recently signed extension eliminates even the remote possibility of a deal until at least the 2023 offseason. If you’re advocating for the slumping Lakers to blow up their roster, you’ll have to leave James out of any hypothetical pre-February 9 trade scenarios.
Before they signed extensions, any of the rest of the players in this group – with the exception of McCollum – could have become viable trade candidates this season. Now, they’re all ineligible to be dealt until after the season.
Players who have signed super-max contracts:
Booker and Jokic were never going to be traded this year, and the same can probably be said for Towns, even as messy as Rudy Gobert‘s integration has been so far. Still, their newly signed super-max extensions make them officially ineligible to be moved until at least next July.