The NBA trade deadline is still a whopping 104 days away.
The trade chatter, though, seems to start earlier and earlier every season. Especially when we see an actual trade five days before opening night like we just did with Washington’s big move to acquire Marcin Gortat.
So we wanted to get this in your hands as quickly as possible -- ESPN’s annually compiled All-No-Trade Team, featuring every player in the league who, through one mechanism or another, can throw a wrench into his respective team’s trade talks if he so chooses.
The 19 players who made the 2013-14 squad break down into three categories:
1. Only four players leaguewide have full no-trade clauses written into their contracts. It’s a privilege, remember, that NBA players can earn only after spending eight seasons in the league -- four with the same team -- and only when the clause is specifically negotiated into a new deal.
It’s the same quartet as last season: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki. Yes, KG’s no-trade clause went with him to Brooklyn because his contract specifics didn’t change. Only his address did.
2. League rules state that any player who signs an offer sheet with a new team in restricted free agency and then sees that offer sheet matched by the incumbent team can’t be traded without his consent for one full year after the offer sheet was matched.
This season, mind you, it's a rule that applies to an exclusive club of one: Jeff Teague, who remained a Hawk when Atlanta matched Milwaukee's four-year, $32 million offer sheet in July.
3. The third and final category is made up of 14 players on one-year contracts whom we like to refer to in-house as One-Year Birds. That's mainly because -- even after doing this exercise year after year after year -- we still haven't come up with a more free-flowing way to describe players on one-year deals who can't be traded without their consent because they've signed with the same team two seasons (or more) in a row.
At least we can explain why the rule exists. Players in these circumstances -- having re-signed on a new one-year deal with their previous employer -- would have to forfeit their free-agent Bird rights if traded elsewhere before the end of the current season. League rules thus dictate that such players have to be asked for their permission before they can be thrown into a trade, which gives them a measure of the clout possessed by a Kobe or a KG between now and the Feb. 20 deadline.
The 14 One-Year Birds of 2013-14 are:
Andray Blatche (Brooklyn)
Josh McRoberts (Charlotte)
Jannero Pargo (Charlotte)
Nazr Mohammed (Chicago)
Bernard James (Dallas)
Aaron Brooks (Houston)
Francisco Garcia (Houston)
Ryan Hollins (L.A. Clippers)
Chris Andersen (Miami)
Al-Farouq Aminu (New Orleans)
Kenyon Martin (New York)
Derek Fisher (Oklahoma City)
Jamaal Tinsley (Utah)
Garrett Temple (Washington)