For the past year, the Golden State Warriors have had an extra $9.8 million to spend on the trade market thanks to the cap-clearing moves they made to acquire Andre Iguodala last offseason.
It’s called the traded player exception, and it allows for the Warriors to pull off a trade involving players who do not necessarily have matching salaries.
However, it expired a few hours ago, as the Warriors were unable to strike a deal before the July 10 deadline. Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Warriors were still “sniffing around” at the last second for potential trades, but came up empty-handed due in part to teams unwilling to move players until LeBron James makes his free agency decision.
While the frozen trade market may have made it difficult to do anything the past few days, I question why the Warriors didn’t use the exception prior to free agency or even during last season. They have possessed it for a year, and just let it expire like a wasted asset.
Perhaps Joe Lacob was not willing to go into the luxury tax. Acquiring a player via trade would certainly put the Warriors over the tax, as they are just $5.9 million under at the moment.
As a result, the Warriors can now only sign free agents by offering them the league minimum. They have already spent their mid-level exception on Shaun Livingston, and their biannual exception was used on Jermaine O’Neal last summer.