Why was the 2016 NBA Trade Deadline so…dull?
The NBA Trade Deadline came and went with a fizzle. The much hyped and predicted megadeals didn’t happen, so most of the trades that transpired seemed inconsequential.
The most eye-catching deal was when the Clippers acquired Jeff Green from Memphis for Lance Stephenson and a future draft pick. But the basketball fans of the world didn’t see a megadeal with A-list stars like many experts foretold. One answer could be found in the upcoming increase of the salary cap.
This offseason, the NBA’s salary cap will skyrocket to $90 million up from $67 million where it is now. That means that each team will have an additional $23 MILLION to give to free agents this summer. Many players who are free agents this summer will want to cash in on this opportunity.
Also consider that the midseason trade deadline, regardless of sport, is typically used to move players with expiring contracts so that their current teams can get something in return for them. On the other hand, teams trading for the player usually won’t do the deal without a guarantee that they can re-sign the player at the end of the season. This can often be very tough to gauge, particularly on deadline day.
For example, news broke a few hours before the deadline that the Milwaukee Bucks were interested in a possible trade for Dwight Howard. Now, Dwight Howard has one year left on his current deal with a player option, which he’ll likely decline and become a free agent this summer.
Despite the initial interest, the Bucks ultimately moved on from Howard. Howard was unwilling to guarantee that he’d re-sign with the Bucks come summertime, thereby killing the deal.
The fact that this trade deadline was relatively quiet shouldn’t come as a surprise, even though fandom would have loved to see some juicier deals. That means that we should all remain aware this summer to see if those attention-grabbing deals end up happening.