NBA Trade Deadline 2015: Date, Time, Rules, Latest Rumors and Predictions

February 18, 2015 Updated: February 18, 2015

The 2015 NBA trade deadline is coming up fast and people are wondering–when exactly is it?

Teams can make deals up until 3 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 19. It’s not uncommon to see one or more deals come in at the last minute, as a flurry of inquiries, offers, and counteroffers happen in the days and hours leading up to the deadline.

There aren’t that many rules attached to the trade deadline. The primary one forbids teams from making any trades after the deadline, through to the day after a team’s final game is played this season. So this is the last chance this season for teams to acquire players from other teams, unless they become available through buyouts.

However, teams can still pursue free agents. This season, there are a number of players who played in China who are becoming available, as well as a few players who have avoided professional basketball but may still be willing to latch onto an NBA team, such as Ray Allen.

There are more rules regarding trades themselves, outlined in the salary cap agreement. “Teams under the salary cap may make trades as they please, as long as they don’t finish more than $100,000 above the salary cap following any trade. But if a team finishes more than $100,000 over the cap, whether they started out above or below the cap, then an exception is required. An exception is the mechanism that allows a team to make trades or sign players and finish over the salary cap. Since most teams are usually over the salary cap, trades are usually completed using exceptions,” explains the league.

Trades involve players, draft picks, draft rights (to a previously drafted player who doesn’t yet play in the NBA), the right to swap draft picks, and money. When teams have settled on terms they make a “trade call” to the league office, during which league officials review the exact terms of the trade, and contract and health information for the players involved.

Latest Rumors and Predictions

The latest rumors and predictions deal with a number of teams who are struggling to make the playoffs, or are already out of contention. Many of these are labeled “sellers,” because they have good players who they’re willing to trade. These include Wilson Chandler and Arron Afflalo of the Denver Nuggets, Brook Lopez and Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets, and Goran Dragic and Miles Plumlee of the Phoenix Suns.

Dragic is the most intriguing name right now because it just emerged late Tuesday that he’s told the Suns he won’t re-sign with them after this season, seemingly forcing the team’s hand. Around a dozen teams have interest in the star guard, including the Miami Heat, Houston Rockets, and Sacramento Kings.

A number of other players have been reported available. The Boston Celtics have several veterans that could be snagged, such as Brandon Bass; the Nuggets have a host of other players such as Jameer Nelson that could be moved; and the Los Angeles Lakers have at least a few players that could be dealt, including Ed Davis and Jeremy Lin.

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