MIAMI — It is the annual call to action, Dec. 15 being the first day that most players signed in the offseason can be traded. It also is perhaps the most overrated date on the NBA personnel calendar.
As a matter of perspective, consider that in the Miami Heat’s previous 34 seasons, the team has never made a trade in December. Ever.
For that matter, the NBA trade market tends to remain almost silent at least until the Jan. 10 deadline for all contracts to be guaranteed or the mid-February NBA trading deadline.
Part of it is that teams still are assessing their own talent, particularly now that the play-in round opens playoff possibilities to 10 of the 15 teams in each conference.
And part of it is that trade restrictions that often can make Dec. 15 moot, or, for that matter, almost any other day of the NBA personnel calendar.
Since July, the Heat signed seven players who currently are on the roster. Of those seven, only two are impacted by the Dec. 15 trade-eligibility date.
— Victor Oladipo: Players who receive more than a 20% raise when re-signed as free agent utilizing their Bird Rights cannot be traded until Jan. 15, a month later than free agents signed otherwise in the offseason.
Because Oladipo went from a $2.4 million salary in 2021-22 to $8.8 million this season, he falls into that category.
Beyond that, because players on one-year contracts with Bird Rights cannot be dealt without their permission, Oladipo, who holds a player option for 2023-24, either would have to opt in to allow a trade without his permission, or grant trade permission and relinquish his Bird Rights going forward.
— Dewayne Dedmon: The Heat are in a somewhat similar situation with Dedmon, who also cannot be dealt until Jan. 15.
Dedmon also exceeded the 20% raise threshold for being Dec. 15 trade eligible, going from a $2.4 million salary in 2021-22 to $4.7 million this season.
Dedmon’s contract differs from Oladipo’s contract in that the second season, at $4.3 million for 2023-24, is non-guaranteed. Because of that, he can be dealt starting on Jan. 15 without requiring his permission.
— Caleb Martin: Martin is trade eligible starting Dec. 15.
While Martin also received a significant raise in the three-year, $20.4 million salary he signed in July, from last season’s NBA minimum to $6.5 million for this season, he was signed utilizing part of the mid-level exception, rather than Bird Rights. That, therefore, means he can be dealt starting next week and moving forward.
— Udonis Haslem: Back for a 20th season, re-signed at the veteran minimum, Haslem, too, becomes trade eligible on Dec. 15.
While Haslem did not re-sign until Aug. 23, he still is three months removed from his Aug. 23 signing. The NBA rule is a player (who does not have other restrictions) cannot be dealt for three months or until Dec. 15, whichever comes later.
— Nikola Jovic: The rules regarding draft picks are different, allowed to be dealt one month from their signing.
Jovic, selected at No. 27 in June, was signed July 2 and has been trade eligible since August. He also is allowed to be traded while on G League assignment.
— Jamal Cain: The rules are different with two-way contracts, with players such as Cain eligible to be dealt one month after signing.
With Cain signed on July 15, he has been trade eligible since mid-August.
— Dru Smith: Also, on a two-way contract, Smith was not signed to his current deal until Nov. 25. He therefore is not trade eligible until Dec. 25.
— Other restrictions: Because of his four-year, $130 million extension agreed to with Tyler Herro in October, a deal that does not begin until 2023-24, Herro effectively cannot be included in any trade that requires matching salaries until July.
The other Heat trade restriction involves Bam Adebayo, who cannot be dealt to a team that already has acquired a player on a similar designated maximum extension, such as the Brooklyn Nets with Ben Simmons.