NBA Exec Explains Why Trade Deadline Will Be Active

NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The NBA trade market usually begins heating up after December 15th. That is when a large number of players who signed new contracts during the offseason were eligible to be traded. But, circumstances have kept things quiet on the trade front thus far.

With so many teams ravaged by positive COVID-19 tests, negotiations are virtually non-existent right now. Teams do not know which players they will have available on a given night to play in the game, making it difficult to pinpoint which players could be made available in a trade.

Teams are bracing for players to land in protocols for the foreseeable future, so this isn’t going away any time soon. The NBA Play-In Tournament also provides more teams with hope that they can make a run to the postseason. As a result, there are not many teams ready to become sellers yet.

Right now there are only two teams, the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons, that are more than 4.5 games behind from a spot in the play-in tournament. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets are two more teams likely to be sellers as they came into the season embarking on rebuilds.

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In the coming weeks, more teams should enter the ranks of sellers. The Indiana Pacers are reportedly open to retooling their roster and teams such as the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers could have reality set in that a playoff spot isn’t in the cards.

Whatever may happen, one NBA executive is expecting there to be a lot of action at the trade deadline. Finances are a big reason why.

“That’s why we saw so many extensions this year. No one has any money [in July],” one executive said at the NBA’s G-League Showcase. “Teams are going to have to trade to get better. I think we’ll have a busy deadline.”

Right now there may only be four teams in the NBA with significant cap space. But, even for that to happen, teams such as the Memphis Grizzlies would have to move on from key rotation players such as Tyus Jones and Kyle Anderson.

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There could be some All-Stars available this offseason, as Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Deandre Ayton, Miles Bridges and Collin Sexton could all be on the market as restricted and unrestricted free agents. But, without much money available, sign-and-trade deals may be the only way they end up on new teams.