A brief CBA reminder

I've noticed alot of CBA errors in reporting of trades. I've also noticed some interesting thoughts that do not matter because the NBA won't allow those trades to happen. So onto the reminders, and hints that you should read this before wondering why I'm talking about this stuff.

TJ Ford, Rasho Nesterovic the 17th pick for Jermaine O'Neal.

This deal has several problems. One is that Ford is BYC until June 30th. Another is that O'Neal can't be traded until July at the earliest since he has an opt out/early termination (eto) clause in his contract. Why does this matter? First to Ford. When a player is BYC (Base Year Compensation) that means his contract value and trade value are 2 different things. Ford's trade value is actually half of what his actual contract meaning matching any player with a hefty contract like O'Neal's extremely difficult to do. Complicating matters, though, is that the Pacers are well over the cap this season and are not eligible to make a deal that allows them to take less money in trade (but the same salary) then they give up. This is simply against CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) rules, and as such cannot happen. You say, though, that the money matches up. That's fine because it is close to matching up if Ford's trade value was not half of his total contract. The problem, again, is that you have to find a team that can do a deal for a player half the value of the player they're getting, and have the remaining cap room to acquire the player they're getting is BYC. Unless you're trading a player of similar salary who is also BYC, or trading a player of that status to a team with lots of cap room (like say the Cavs this year signed Varejao and then traded him to the Bobcats for a trade exception--I'm willing to bet that almost happened too--then that is possible as the Cats were under the cap, and could afford to take on Varejao's entire first year salary, as well as give something back to the Cavs at the trade value Varejao was at. Disclaimer: If you don't understand this don't really bother to try. It's not that important and it's only speculation. The important thing to remember with BYC is that the players "TRADE STATUS" is different than his actual contract.)

Another problem was Jermaine O'Neal. He had an early opt out in his contract (I think--these things are only technical details--as it was reported with Ron Artest he had an opt out which was wrong; he really had an ETO which could be easily true of JO too) that could have him a Free-Agent this off-season. Many took this as he would be able to traded sometime in June. Wrong! As far as the CBA is concerned, JO cannot be traded until July 1st because he will be a considered a prospective Free Agent until his actual status is determined.

Now for those of you think I'm an arrogant piece of shit with an IQ of a peanut (not totally unlike the current Prez), then I suggest you also refer this same set of loathing onto Mr. Larry Coon. Via Senor Coon:

74. How does a base year player's salary count against the team's salary cap? His actual salary is included in the team salary. BYC is used only when comparing salaries for trades.

See what I mean about Ford? His actual salary didn't change. Only his trade value. For those wondering on why JO can't be traded? Another bit of news from Senor Coon:

85. When can't a player be traded? Can players be given "no-trade" clauses in their contracts?

A "no-trade" clause can be negotiated into an individual contract if the player has been in the NBA for at least eight seasons, and has played for the team with which he is signing for at least four seasons. They don't have to be the immediately prior four seasons -- for example, Horace Grant got a no-trade clause from Orlando when he signed with them in 2001. He had played for Orlando for four seasons, but had played for Seattle and Los Angeles in the interim. Very few players actually have one of these no-trade provisions. Otherwise, individually negotiated contracts may not contain no-trade clauses. The no-trade clause prevents the team from making a trade involving the player without the player's consent.

In addition, teams cannot trade players under the following circumstances:

- For two months after receiving the player in trade or claiming him off waivers, if the player is being traded in combination with other players. However, the team is free to trade the player by himself (not packaged with other players) immediately. This restriction applies only to teams over the salary cap. (Also see question number 72 for a special case where players can be traded together in less than two months.)

- When the trading deadline has passed. Teams are free to make trades again once their season has ended, but cannot trade players whose contracts are ending or could end due to an option or ETO.

- For three months or until December 15th of that season (whichever is later) after signing a contract as a free agent. This obviously does not apply to the trade completing a sign-and-trade transaction (see question number 76). Interestingly, however, it is unclear whether this rule prevents a player who has been signed-and-traded from being traded agiain prior to three months/December 15 (see question number 80).

- For 30 days after signing as a draft pick.

- Without the player's consent when the player is playing under a one-year contract (excluding any option year) and will have Larry Bird or Early Bird rights at the end of the season. This includes first round draft picks following their fourth (option) season, who accept their team's qualifying offer for their fifth season. When the player consents to such a trade, the team loses its Larry Bird/Early Bird rights, and the player is considered a Non-Bird free agent. Note: when there is an option year involved, they can get around this regulation by invoking the option prior to the trade.

- For one year after exercising the right of first refusal to keep a restricted free agent (however, the player can consent to a trade to any team except the team that tried to sign him).

- After claiming a player on waivers, for 30 days if the player was claimed during a season, or until the first day of the next season if the player was claimed during the offseason.

- A team cannot reacquire a player they traded away during that season (a season being July 1 - June 30) unless the player has been waived.

- In the special case of players waived through the amnesty provision (see question number 18), the player cannot be reacquired for the length of the terminated contract. There seems to be a lot of confusion about the first bullet item above. Many media reports mistakenly say that a player cannot be re-traded for two months under any circumstances, even by himself. This is not true -- Danny Manning's trade from Phoenix to Orlando, and soon thereafter to Milwaukee is one example of the correct application of this trade rule. Other media reports confuse the sign-and-trade rule with this one, claiming that the player can be re-traded within 48 hours or after 60 days, but not in between.

Read this and weep kiddies. The master knows all. (And I'm not talking about me.) My point is fairly simple. When talking about trades they have to be done legally. During draft time most of the time people talk about trades because of the draft. Most of the time they don't work because draft picks A) don't count as compensation in a trade, and B) most of the time the trades don't make sense regardless of the financial implications. If you're going to come up with a trade scenario you'll need to know the following in my humble opinion:

1) Whether the player has an Early Opt-Out or ETO option

2) Whether the player is BYC

3) Whether the player is a restricted FA (Free Agent) or FA period

4) Give a reasonable cause as to why each side would do a deal

5) Make me happy

To end this piece of shenanigans I will point out a couple of things. When doing something with salary there are always conflicting information. It's best to check out as many sources as you can. ESPN has a good trade checker, and Sham Sports has a solid salary information page. Most people have heard of Hoopshype, and there are alot of opinions out there to what would be a good trade or not. But if you're trade doesn't work out under the CBA, as the Ford/Nesterovic 17th pick for O'Neal trade proves, then it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference whether each team wants to do it or not.

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)

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