You May Not Know This, But Today Was An Important Day On The NBA Calendar. Here's Why

Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets

Most people know about the NBA’s trade deadline, but there are two other key dates that have a good amount of importance when it comes to the NBA calendar. I talked about the first one about a month ago heading into the December 15th date. That was our first date where most guys who signed new deals over the summer could officially be traded. Well that was only half the story, as today is the other major pre trade deadline date that we should all be aware of as we prepare for next month. Today is important for a few reasons, the first being we have a new crop of players that are now eligible to be traded after signing deals this summer. Some big names are on this list

Marcus Smart (Celtics)
Joe Harris (Nets)
Zach LaVine (Bulls)
Rodney Hood (Cavaliers)
Will Barton (Nuggets)
Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)
Clint Capela (Rockets)
Chris Paul (Rockets)
Avery Bradley (Clippers)
Montrezl Harrell (Clippers)
Paul George (Thunder)
Jerami Grant (Thunder)
Aaron Gordon (Magic)
Jusuf Nurkic (Trail Blazers)
Davis Bertans (Spurs)
Bryn Forbes (Spurs)
Fred VanVleet (Raptors)
Dante Exum (Jazz)
Derrick Favors (Jazz)
Raul Neto (Jazz)

Do I think any of these players will be moved over the next month? Of the 20, maybe 1 or two. Someone like Avery Bradley hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations out in LA but for the most part you have a list of franchise guys and key starters here so it would truly be a legit Woj/Shams bomb if those guys got moved. Maybe this summer, but midseason? That’d be wild. I could see UTA maybe gauging offers for Favors as they prepare for their stretch run, same with Exum who hasn’t been all that good either, but that’s probably it. What if things got really crazy and Daryl Morey decided it was time to find a way to get out of that awful CP3 deal because he can’t stay healthy? Well now he technically can. That’s crazy I know but sometimes you never see the blockbuster coming.

That’s only half the story though. The other reason today is important is because today is the deadline to sign Two Way players. That’s why you may have seen a few tweets out there mentioning players you’ve never heard of. For example it’s why the Celts signed RJ Hunter when they did. You can waive them after today if you want, but you can’t add another guy to replace them. There are only two teams in the entire league with open slots (NO, POR), and while these guys don’t always make a difference, we have seen some find success. For example Danuel House has parlayed his two way deal with the Rockets into a full time contract and he actually plays real minutes so you never know.

Finally, if you are a team that suffered a brutal injury, like the Mavs did with JJ Barea, today is the final day you can apply for a disabled player exemption. This is an important bump in cap space these teams can use especially once we see what the buyout market looks like. It essentially could make a team a destination that otherwise wouldn’t be. We saw this last year with the Celtics and their bringing in Greg Monroe with the money they got from the Hayward injury.

I think we all want fireworks come the February 7th deadline, and now that we passed this second deadline, there are some names out there that would certainly qualify. Now we wait for the chaos to unfold.