How can NBA teams add players to their roster after the trade deadline?
NBA teams are scrambling to make their move as the trade deadline draws closer. But even if they don’t make it, they still have a chance to add players.
The NBA has been humming with trade activity these past few day as teams scramble to beat the deadline. Two of the largest trades ever made in the league went down, with the Brooklyn Nets letting go of their two biggest stars.
First, Kyrie Irving was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for guard Spencer Dinwiddie, forward Dorian Finney-Smith and three draft picks. The Nets also reportedly included power forward Markieff Morris in the trade with Dallas.
Next, Kevin Durant was traded to the Phoenix Suns for forwards Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson and Jae Crowder, along with four first-round draft picks and the right to swap another future first-round pick. Nets forward T.J. Warren was also part of the trade.
After the deadline
There is still a lot wheeling-and-dealing going on as teams try to reach agreements with other franchises, but those who are unable to acquire new talent by the Feb. 9, 3 p.m. (ET) deadline will still get a chance to beef up their roster after the cut-off time has come and gone.
The deadline means teams can no longer use trades to get new players, but they can still sign up midseason free agents via the buyout market.
The NBA buyout market
Buyouts typically take place soon after the trade deadline. This means that a player negotiates their contract with the team, until both parties agree that the player will buy out the remainder of their contract. This usually happens when the player is no longer happy with the team, and/or a trade could not be agreed upon before the deadline.
The team waives the player, who pays back a part of his guaranteed salary, and he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Other teams can then sign the player on, if they can afford his rate as well as the hit on their cap space.
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