FAs Signed After Friday Won’t Become Trade-Eligible On December 15

Unless he’s part of a sign-and-trade deal, an NBA free agent who signs a new contract can’t be traded immediately. The Collective Bargaining Agreement states that a newly signed free agent is ineligible to be traded until December 15 or until he’s been under contract for three months, whichever comes later.

Based on that rule, the majority of the free agents who signed new contracts in July, August, and the first half of September will become trade-eligible on December 15 (a smaller group of free agents who met certain specific criteria won’t become trade-eligible until January 15).

By our count, at least 85 players will become eligible to be moved on December 15. That doesn’t take into account any players signed to non-guaranteed training camp deals who might earn regular season roster spots, since our list doesn’t include players on Exhibit 9 or Exhibit 10 contracts.

However, that list won’t continue to expand to include any additional names after Friday, since we’re now exactly three months away from Dec. 15. As a result, a free agent who signs a new contract after today will remain trade-eligible for a full three months, rather than becoming trade-eligible on Dec. 15.

For instance, a player who signs on September 22 would become eligible to be dealt on December 22; one who signs on October 4 would become trade-eligible on January 4, and so on.

November 8 is an important date in this discussion, since this season’s trade deadline will land on February 8. A player who signs a free agent contract on November 9 or later will be ineligible to be dealt during the 2023/24 season.

Once the season begins next month and we have a better sense of which players signed after Sept. 15 have earned spots on regular season rosters, we’ll publish a new list of those players’ trade eligibility dates to complement our December 15 and January 15 round-ups.

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