The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 19 this year.
Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, Timofey Mozgov, Brandan Wright (twice), Iman Shumpert, Dion Waiters, J.R. Smith and Corey Brewer have already been traded since this season began. There have been several smaller deals, too.
How many more players are left to be traded in the next few weeks?
Sure, the Nets probably still want to trade Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson. The Hornets should be motivated to move Lance Stephenson. The Knicks want to unload Jose Calderon and Pablo Prigioni. Thaddeus Young and Norris Cole seem available. The Thunder might not keep Reggie Jackson?
So, it’s not as if the trade market is dead. But is there any reason these other trades can’t be made sooner?
some executives have already pitched an earlier trade deadline in informal discussions with league officials.
Admittedly, I could be overreacting to a single season. But it seems the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has changed the in-season trade market.
Contracts are shorter, placing less value on expiring contracts. Therefore, teams aren’t using them as the primary selling point in midseason swaps to get better players on lengthier contracts who teams want to dump.
Now, in-season trades are more about talent. And if teams are going to add talent, they’re going to do it sooner – both to increase chemistry-building time and the number of games a new player helps the team win.
But I don’t see a point to mandating the trade market move this direction. The deadline is already early enough to prevent wide-spread dumps by non-playoff teams to playoff teams. Mostly, if not fully, teams completely out of playoff contention by mid-February have already ridded themselves of win-now players in an effort to tank.
I think moving up the trade deadline would matter less now than, say, a decade ago. But what is the benefit?