Trade Market Dominated by Sellers, but Will any GM Pull the Trigger?
“The trade market is mostly sellers right now,” one general manager said. “There’s only a few buyers. Looking at everyone’s books, I don’t think that’s going to change much this summer.”
As the Thursday trade deadline looms, teams are scrambling to make moves – many to sell off with contending in the rear-view mirror, while few others still have championship aspirations in mind. The general message is the league’s trade market will not change much any time soon. The NBA hierarchy is set, with only a handful of teams with any shot of competing, while the pretenders are all eager to build towards the future.
They have seen the light and are all eager to make moves. Only issue is, with about 25-teams planning on taking a step back, it is insanely difficult for all to make trades with just five teams who may be short on one or two pieces.
“The luxury tax was not designed for this many teams to pay it,” a league executive said. “Many of those owners probably didn’t think they’d be paying it. Quite a few of those teams are probably going to take steps to get out of the tax or limit new spending.”
With only a handful of teams with cap space come this summer, many of the underachieving and mediocre teams will need to get creative.
“Picture the spending on salaries as a large tank of water,” one GM said. “The last several years, the tank has been getting bigger, and so we’ve been filling it with more water. But this year the tank is staying about the same size. There’s no place for the water to go. There’s only so much the owners are going to spend when you have a luxury tax out there.”
This season, five teams will likely pay luxury tax compared to only two last season. With a need to make trades happen while balancing out salaries, it will become increasingly difficult for names like DeAndre Jordan, Kemba Walker, and Marc Gasol to find new homes any time soon.
So whether we see players like Lou Williams or J.R. Smith move in the coming days, things will get very interesting as teams attempt to find ways to finesse the cap. Being a GM is tricky and this is where the great ones make their living!