The NBA trade deadline is still two months away, but Thursday marks the unofficial start to trade season. When the calendar flipped to Dec. 15, 74 free agents who signed with their teams in the offseason became eligible to be traded.
Although we're now almost two months into the season, many teams are still in the evaluation period with their rosters -- which helps explain why there have been no trades since Sept. 30. Still, even though a new crop of players becomes trade eligible Thursday, don't expect a flurry of moves. The last time there was a trade on Dec. 15 itself was 2010, when the then-New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a three-team deal that sent Joe Smith, who had signed with the Nets in the offseason, to Los Angeles. Additionally, there are still more than 70 players who have some type of trade restriction on them even after this week.
To get a better sense how trades might shape up ahead of the 2023 trade deadline, we have organized the entire player pool into different roster types (franchise centerpiece, All-Star, starter, reserve, etc.), with info on salary and years remaining on their contracts. You can use these tables when attempting to determine what trades are possible across the league -- especially since 28 out of the 30 teams don't have cap space (only the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs have room) and will need to trade salaries that match within 125%, 175% or $5 million.
Teams like the Boston Celtics ($6.9 million and $5.9 million), Denver Nuggets ($9.2 million), LA Clippers ($9.8 million), Oklahoma City Thunder ($10.2 million and $4.2 million) and Utah Jazz ($9.8 million, $9.7 million and $6.8 million) have large trade exceptions and can acquire a player without sending back salary.