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A decade ago, a Love/Wiggins deal would pretty much be dead

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 25th at 9:11pm 268619952

wigginsAnyone frustrated by the NBA rule that says draft picks can’t be traded for 30 days after they sign — and count us among those, since we’re eager to see a Kevin Love/Andrew Wiggins deal and move on with our lives — should note that it could be worse.

A decade ago, this deal would pretty much be dead — and not because Love was 15 and Wiggins was 9, though we suppose that would pretty much kill any NBA deal as well.

We found this nugget from a Cleveland AP story interesting:

There have been restrictions placed on trading newly signed rookies dating back at least to the 1998-99 collective bargaining agreement. At that time, rookies were lumped in with all free agents into a rule that prevents any newly signed player from being traded for three months or before Dec. 15 of the next season – whichever is longer.

The rule was modified in the 2005 CBA, separating rookie contracts into a different category with the shorter, 30-day timeline between signing date and trade eligibility.

In the case of Wiggins, Dec. 15 would have been the date in question, or about 45 days into the NBA season. In other words, no deal, since it appears his salary being on the books is important to making this trade happen and his salary is only on the books now that he has signed.

What’s the point of the rule, anyway? Why can’t teams just trade players, including rookies, whenever they please?

It was designed to prevent teams from circumventing salary cap rules.  … The spirit behind the rule is that if a rookie is traded immediately after he signs, it gives the appearance that the acquiring team is the one that is in fact signing him.

That doesn’t make a ton of sense to us, but then again the NBA collective bargaining agreement is a tangled web from which few people escape fully unscathed.

Just be happy, we suppose, that a trade is still possible, even if it will take until the end of August to be official.

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