Two new trade rules in the new CBA

Okay, we’ve already discussed the amnesty provision and the stretch exception, two new pieces of the NBA’s pending collective bargaining agreement.

Time to look a little further. Here are two cool things, especially for those of you who feast on player movement and possible trades.

1. It will be easier to make trades. Under the old labor agreement, the salaries of the traded players had to be within 125 percent (plus 100K) of each other. That will remain the case for taxpaying teams, but the new agreement also makes it muuuuch easier for non-tax teams to swing uneven trades. For those teams, it is 150 percent (plus 100K) of the salaries being traded, or the 100 percent of the salaries being traded plus $5 million. The limit on the amount of cash that can be included in a trade remains $3 million — but teams are now limited to trading $3 million in cash per season. So you can’t just dump $3 million into every trade as you could in the past.

2. No more wink-wink trades. Back in Feb. 2010 whn the Cavaliers acquired Antawn Jamison, they sent Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Washington in the deal to make the salaries match, then re-signed Ilgauskas 30 days after the Wizards waived him. Under the new rules, a player who is traded and then waived cannot re-sign with the team that traded him until July 1 at the earliest.


  1. DirectorNYC says

    Is it either 150% +100K or 100% +5M or is it both? It doesn’t make any sense for it to be both.

    I agree with the notion that a third team who is looking to dump salaries is needed if the CP3 to NYK trade is going to happen now. NOLA should turn every rock in order to find a team that benefits from an expriring contract.

    I think GS could be in with either Lee or Monta or both. Rudy Gay or Joe Johnson is another.
    Lakers could use Billups and send Odom to NOLA who needs a PF with West gone.

    Paying a a price of 2 first round picks to dump Joe Johnsons $115M left on his contract is a small price to pay.

    Joe and CP3 go to Knicks. Hornets get young players and picks. Atl gets cap relief via Ronnie Turiaf +Billups.

  2. Martin Cicero says

    I have a theory about using the amnesty rule and I’ll pose it using the Knicks as an example. I understand the Knicks may need assets to trade for Paul. How about a semi-safe back up plan that relies on Dolan reaching in his pockets once again?

    The Knicks send Chauncey Billups and Renaldo Balkman to the Cavs. The Cavs send Baron Davis and Milan Macvan to the Knicks with a future draft pick(s).

    The Knicks start the season with Baron and if he can’t be traded for Paul, then they use the amnesty rule at the end of the season to clear space. They’d be right back where the were by ridding themselves of Balkman’s contract but with a much needed draft pick(s) and another big.

    I understand Baron’s history with the Hornets. But the business decision to maybe help a team dump two bad contracts in exchange for a veteran, a young player, and drafts pick(s) has to be considered right? You can shuffle the players and team around but is this a good concept to anyone?

  3. ignarus says

    i’m glad that teams can’t do the stupid “waive a guy, wait a month, and re-sign him” thing. it didn’t really hurt anything, but it was such a clear absurdity and violation of the spirit of trade rules that i’m glad to see that it’s gone.

    also, i’d hope that the loosening of trade rules would make expiring bad contracts less valuable. the whole idea that having a burned husk of a guy who’s getting paid $10 in the last year of his deal would be what a team needed to acquire a top talent was an absurdity that i’d be happy to do away with.

    • DanH says

      Expiring contracts will forever be worth their weight in gold, perhaps even more so under the new tax system. Especially if a team is up against that 4-times-in-5-years tax increase.

  4. paulpressey25 says

    Chris-two points of clarification to point 1 above.

    a) The $5 million dollar figure in trades applies to the aggregate annual salary difference. In other words if Golden State trades $30 million of annual salaries to Atlanta for $24 million in annual salaries, that trade would not be allowed. It is not an additional trade exception.

    The $24 million IS within 150% +100k. But the new CBA adds a second test to the equation. Since the difference in salaries would be $6 million ($30-24) this trade would not be allowed.

    The purpose of the deal is to make it harder for teams to do bigger and more lopsided salary trades as were done in the past. By having the 150% rule, more trades will work than in the past, but the dollars could be more lopsided. By adding the “no more than $5 million” filter it will limit that somewhat.

    b) The $3 million dollar cash limit per trade is the same as in the old CBA. Any team can send a cool $3 million in cash as incentive to do a deal. However I believe the new CBA limits such largess to only $3 million total in any one year. This prevents a rich team from “buying off” smaller cash starved teams multiple times in the same season. I think the Knicks may have sent out two $3mm payments last year in trades (could have my team mixed up)

    This won’t have a huge impact on the market though.

    • DanH says

      Yes, indeed – the wording is that the traded player exception is the lesser of the two tests, which means it must meet both requirements.

      An interesting thought – could a tax paying team make a trade of 24 million for 30 million? That fits into the 125% calculation but not the 5 million calculation. The 5 million test is listed in the non-taxpayers trade rules only. Wonder if that is an oversight, or just awkwardly written.

  5. Neil says

    I asked this on your twitter, but I don’t think I made any sense:
    with the new provision allowing trades to be within 150 percent of salaries exchanged, does that mean that no more dumping salaries onto under-the-cap teams for draft picks (a-la the Beasley trade, in which Miami traded a salary for picks and Minnesotta simply absorbed Beasley’s contract into their free cap space)?
    Or is this provision is intended for teams above the salary cap but under the tax threshold?

    • DanH says

      As ever, a team with room under the cap can use that room to absorb traded salary without concern for the traded player exception. Only teams over the cap (or who would be over the cap after the trade) are restricted by the rules shown above.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>