Welcome to the unofficially official start of the NBA trade season, folks!
As we hit Dec. 15, as many as 81 free agents who signed a deal last offseason just became eligible to be traded. That includes, of course, two of your beloved New York Knicks: Donte DiVincenzo and Ryan Arcidiacono.
According to NBA rules and regulations, as stated in their official explainer, “A free agent who signs a standard NBA player contract (or a player who signs, or is converted to, a standard NBA player contract while under a Two-Way Contract) cannot be traded for three months following the date the contract is signed or until December 15 of the Salary Cap Year in which the contract is signed, whichever is later.”
Bobby Marks of ESPN wrote a story one day ahead of kick-off explaining some of the things that are about to change starting today, the players that just became eligible, and the situation of different franchises that can or might attempt to trade for some of the names entering the market.
As Marks noted, teams such as the New York Knicks ($6.8 million), among many others including the Heat, Nets, 76ers, Suns, and Celtics have “large trade exceptions and can acquire a player without sending back salary.”
Marks also highlighted a singular fact pertaining to this year’s trade season, as this year marks the last one in which “teams over the first and second apron—Miami for example—have the ability to use a trade exception.”
The Indiana Pacers and the Orlando Magic are the only two NBA franchises that currently have real cap space in their payrolls, per Marks’ report.
You can find the 81 players that became eligible to be traded on Dec. 15 in Marks’ article, but here are some potential trade targets that could end up landing in New York before the Feb. 8 trade deadline and that weren’t tradeable until today.
Unrealistic options (Fred VanVleet, to name one) were omitted from the list, as well as ball-handling guards because of the lack of it considering the Knicks’ current roster.
Stats as of Dec. 14, 2023. “Roster Status” as defined by ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Players are sorted by their 2023-24 salary.