Rules - Trades

Trade Deadline: Friday, March 9, 2007 at 12:00 PM ET.
All trades must be proposed by this time. Unlike previous seasons, trades will be allowed to be accepted after this date and time. The trade link will be taken away once the deadline has passed.

There is no limit to the number of trades a team can make during the trading period. Trades do not necessarily need to include the same number of players, although each team must stay within the limits of their 12-player roster. In the event that a trade is accepted and then invalidated by a subsequent roster move -- often in a two-for-one trade the team receiving two players fills an empty bench spot prior to the execution of the trade -- the trade will be deleted. Trades process in hourly batches, and will not process precisely at the time listed by the transaction.

Proposing a trade
To propose a trade, an owner must first access the clubhouse page of the team with whom they wish to trade. On that page is a "Propose Trade" link which leads to that team's roster and allows for the selection of players for whom you wish to trade. After making the selection(s), you will be shown your own roster, and asked to select the players you will give up in the trade. Once the trade has been outlined, you will be asked to confirm the trade proposal, choose the length of time the trade offer will stand, and offer any written support for the trade.

Accepting/declining a trade
The owner receiving the trade offer will then be sent an e-mail listing the player(s) involved and any reasons for it (your written support, if any), and asked to either accept or decline the proposal. If the trade is accepted, the transaction then moves onto the list of Pending Transactions for Peer Review. All league owners may review the trade for up to 36 hours after it has been brought up for Peer Review (see Trade Review below). All protested trades are sent to the League Office for review, and will be evaluated before the scheduled process time.

Trade Review
Trades must be made in an attempt to benefit both teams. In the event that a trade is discovered that appears to be collusive or one-sided to the point that it cannot benefit one of the parties involved, league members may protest the trade and send it on to the FBA Trade Review Board, who will rule on the merits of the trade and render a decision to veto or allow the trade. In any situation where the League Office believes that a proposed trade is collusive or will not fairly benefit both teams, the League Office may reject the trade. The League Office reserves the right to handle all such situations to preserve the integrity of the game. The League Office further reserves the right to suspend or revoke a team owner's ability to propose or protest trades when the League Office believes, using reasonable discretion, that a team owner has acted in a collusive or unsportsmanlike manner, or in any other manner which undermines the integrity of the game. Decisions of the League Office on all such matters shall be final and binding.

Turning off trade protests
If a league has voted to turn off the protest capability through the League Referenda service, that league's members will not be able to protest trades. Removing the trade protest capability of a league requires unanimous consent of all league members.

Trade Vetoes

The following are NOT sufficient reasons to veto a trade:

  • I changed my mind
    Once you complete a trade, it's too late to change your mind. It's unfair to the other owner involved.

  • I will quit if this trade goes through
    Sorry, this game is not about blackmail. We can't let statements like these make our decisions for us.

  • My little brother/mom/dog hit the button by accident
    It is your responsibility to keep your account access away from irresponsible people or pets.

  • The owners have the same e-mail address
    Collusion is against the rules. Sharing an account is not. Please have some amount of proof before you accuse another owner in your league of collusion.

  • A player is injured AFTER the trade was accepted
    As long as the player was healthy when the trade was made, we consider the trade to be in 'good faith'.

  • So-and-so is a proven veteran - how can you trade him for a rookie?
    We see this often. We judge a trade on how likely we think it is that it will help a team. If each team has a decent possibility to improve, we'll OK it.

Reasons the League Office will consider vetoing a trade:

  • Both owners involved ask us to cancel
    Simple enough - no explanation needed.

  • Collusion
    On rare occasions, collusion is very evident. We'll veto these automatically.

  • A recently injured player is involved, and the trade occurred right after the injury
    This is to protect an owner who leaves an offer on the table, that is snatched up by an unscrupulous trading partner right after an injury is announced.

  • We feel the trade is extremely unlikely to help one of the teams
    This is the most controversial responsibility of the League Office. Usually, no matter what the final decision is, one or more owners will be unhappy. The decisions are not personal. They are informed decisions made by a panel of ESPN.com experts and are based on empirical data and statistics. If, in the League's judgement, both teams have a reasonable chance to improve their position through the trade, and the trade is being made in good faith, the League Office will improve the trade. The people who review trades are ESPN.com experts who watch many many NBA games each year, either on TV or in person. They also examine stats, both past and present. Many owners automatically protest a trade if a "big name" player is involved - however, fantasy value can differ (sometimes greatly) from real value or reputation. The decisions are often very close. The panel's responsibility is to make the most informed decision it can, based on the data available when it reviews the protest.

Final thoughts:

Decisions on protests are final. We will never re-create a voided trade. If you feel the League Office's decision was in error, we recommend reproposing the trade and then registering a "protest" yourself, except you should include reasons to allow the trade instead of reasons to veto it. Situations can change - what was unfair last week may be fair this week. For example, a backup center would have his stock go way up if the team's starting center was significantly injured.

Sending angry or obscene protests is a good way to get ignored. Pointing out that you protested a trade that was allowed, which turned out to be one-sided, is meaningless. Our decisions are not predictions of what will happen - nobody can know that. If we allow Karl Malone for Tim Duncan - well, either player could have a great year, and either could slump. Right now, their potential is comparable, and this season could be up or down.

Remember - the game is supposed to be fun. Get out there and make some deals!