Crank up your ESPN trade machines and hang up your transaction stockings, kids, because it’s December 15th – marked on the NBA calendar for weeks as “Trade Day.”
A league-wide rule specifies that players who signed new contracts during free agency (up to Sept. 15) can’t be included in trades until three months after their contract is signed, or Dec. 15; whichever date comes later.
As ESPN’s Marc Stein notes, 114 players become eligible for trades today, none of whom are Sixers1.
The Sixers, you might have heard, are already in the rumor mill this week. USA TODAY’s Sam Amick is reporting that rival GMs believe that the Rockets have a deal in place for Omer Asik, and that his suitor may be the Sixers. (The semantics here are key; the report says only what rival GMs believe is happening). If Philly was to be the landing spot for the elite rim protector, Thad or Spence might be headed to Houston.
This deal doesn’t quote add up in the short-term or the long-term, given Asik’s expected win production and his cap-friendly (though not salary-friendly)2 contract expiring in 2015. Not to mention, he doesn’t seem like an ideal fit next to Nerlens Noel3. Then again, Hinkie knows best. (And I have a hard time believing that rival executives know what he’s planning, considering all the trades Hinkie’s made so far haven’t leaked until they were agreed upon).
Expect rumors to ramp up between today and Thursday. If a player is acquired in that window, they are then eligible to be repackaged in another trade before deadline day on Feb. 20.
1.This serves as a reminder that the Sixers made no concrete free agency signings this past summer. All of their players either had contracts in place, arrived via trade, were drafted in June, signed training camp deals in September and made the team, or signed NBA deals post-camp. The Sixers’ five formal offseason signees are eligible for trades at disseminated dates: Hollis Thompson (Dec. 24), Daniel Orton (Jan. 15), Brandon Davis (Jan. 27), Lorenzo Brown (Feb. 20 – deadline day), Elliot Williams (Feb. 20 – deadline day).
2. Asik is due about $15 million next season but his contract only carries an $8 million cap hit.
3. That is, unless the Sixers don’t believe that Noel is strong enough to hold his own against NBA centers.