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NBA

Can NBA teams trade players during preseason?

Trades can be done any time before the traded deadline in week 17, but are NBA teams allowed to trade players before the season starts?

Update:
Trades can be done any time before the traded deadline in week 17, but are NBA teams allowed to trade players before the season starts?
Patrick McDermottAFP

NBA trades are perhaps the most byzantine and confusing in all of professional sports, with restrictions on who can be traded and when. With the off season pretty much the prime time for trading, and in fact trading being allowed all the way up until the trade deadline in February, why are players not traded in the pre season?

Apart from the July moratorium, which sees all trading frozen for five days at the beginning of the new hoops year, NBA deals are what the summer is all about. With qualifying offers and waivers leading to stretch provisions, no to mention signing second-round picks, the negotiations are in full steam through August and into September.

Anyone unsigned on September 6 becomes a free agent and deals can still be struck, but by the CBA rules, trading can only take place from the start of the regular season up until the trade deadline in week 17. Since the pre-season is after the cutoff and before the start of the regular season, trades are cut to a drip.

This isn’t to say that teams are prohibited from trading per-se, but with the restrictions placed on all of the summer’s transactions, it is virtually impossible to find a player who qualifies to be traded during that period.

  • Players cannot be traded for 30 days after signing as a draft pick.
  • Those claimed off of waivers during the offseason cannot be traded until 30 days after the start of the offseason.
  • Players received in trade by teams over the cap cannot be traded again for two months, unless they are being traded alone.
  • Players waived via the amnesty clause cannot be traded back to the team that waived them for the duration of the amnestied contract.
  • Furthermore, players who waived the amnesty clause, and subsequently claimed off of amnesty waivers, cannot be traded to anyone for the remainder of the season.
  • Players who signed offer sheets with other teams, then had them matched, cannot be traded to the team he signed with for a full year, even if they consent.
  • Finally, any player acquired after July 1st in a trade cannot be traded back to the team who traded him until the following July 1st.

In this landscape, it is a miracle if any player who would be worth trading would be able to satisfy the criteria. But if you have one, good luck to you both.

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