(Note: Update at the bottom.)
Does Ron Artest have a player option for 2008-09, or an early termination option?
It's more than semantics. An option can be picked up at any point between the end of the season and June 30. However, with an ETO, there's nothing to submit in order to stay so his status would be up in the air (no matter what he or agent Mark Stevens say) until July 1.
So, the scenarios would be:
If it's an ETO:
- he executes it at some point, and is therefore (as an unrestricted free agent) untradeable until after July 1, in which case a sign-and-trade could be completed.
- he doesn't execute it, but is still untradeable until after July 1 because he could potentially execute it at some point before July 1.
If it's a player option:
- he picks it up at some point, and is therefore immediately tradeable.
- he doesn't pick it up, and because he could potentially execute it at some point, is therefore untradeable until after July 1 .
So if it's an ETO, there is no way to trade Artest on draft day. If it's a player option, Artest can be traded on draft day only if he submits paperwork to invoke the option prior to the draft.
I asked Sam Amick, whom is familiar with Ron's contract. He tells me it's an ETO.
Put away those trade ideas which involve Artest being moved on draft day.
UPDATE (May 25, 7:23 a.m.): pookeyguru finds an example of a trade involving a lottery pick not being official until after the July 1 milestone (as well as the typical 1-2 week "break" the NBA holds at the start of July, when deals are verbally consummated but not approved): the Gay and Swift for Battier trade. However, this one didn't involve the extra hurdle of a potential free agent, nor did it involve an agent like Mark Stevens, who has a record of shaking things up when his client's future is uncertain. (Thanks pookey, for finding that.)