The Evolution of NBA Trades

The NBA has developed an incredibly innovative system to keep up with the evolution of technology and online sources. Today, NBA Trades are conducted online through email, making the entire trading process less time consuming, more efficient and most importantly, making it possible for more NBA fans to participate.

The process of NBA Trades is generally broken down into three distinct phases. The first phase involves accepting a trade offer. During this phase, the teams involved will email information that relates to their rosters or current trade activity, including anything else that can be exchanged for the player or players being traded.

In the second phase, an agreement is reached and written regarding the trade. This may include an offer price, a team’s roster requirements for the trade and any additional conditions or stipulations for the trade. Depending on the need for additional salary or a pick to make a trade work, such terms may also be discussed. Once this trade is finalized, an NBA Trade Agent will sign off on the trade, which is then posted to the league’s official website.

In the third phase, the actual trade takes place as agreed upon in the written agreement and is open for all NBA fans to view at the trading deadline. Once this trade is finalized, the trade is final and the league will release the information to the league office for further processing. Some exceptions may be made for restricted and unrestricted free agents who may elect to accept a trade offer prior to the expiration of their current contract, but the exceptions may only be limited by the writing of a specific clause in the new contract.

In an effort to increase participation, each NBA team now provides regular updates about their roster and the status of each player through an NBA trade and one team – the San Antonio Spurs, are especially well known for providing regular updates about their roster and transactions during the offseason. Any NBA trade-related information regarding a team’s roster can be accessed through the league’s official website, The Source.

Trades in the NBA have become so common, that trades in the NBA even involves teams that previously did not participate in trades. For example, the Miami Heat have participated in the trade for Chris Bosh, the first player ever traded in the NBA.

There is no limit to the number of trades that can be completed throughout the year. Trade ideas are even discussed among NBA teams, adding excitement and motivation to the game of basketball. In the case of a trade idea for a player to another team, the team providing the solution has to be willing to part with some of their own assets in order to make the trade.

Tradings in the NBA have also led to an increased number of trades being played out in the playoffs. For example, Kevin Garnett was traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Boston Celtics in order to make way for Rajon Rondo. It is safe to say that trades are inevitable, and the teams participating in these trades are sometimes looking for additional picks or perhaps for veteran leadership for a future draft pick.


What is the NBA trade deadline?

The NBA trade deadline is 3 p.m. ET on the Thursday 10 days before the All-Star Game.

When can trades start happening?

Trades can start happening in the NBA offseason which begins at the end of the NBA Finals.

What are some big recent NBA trades?  

James Harden traded to the 76ers, Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves, Donovan Mitchell to the Cavaliers.  

Do players have any say in trades?

Players typically do not have control over trades unless they have a no-trade clause in their contract.

What ends most trade negotiations in the NBA? 

Most NBA trade negotiations end over disagreements on draft picks and young players being included in deals.