NBA Trade Rumors: Toughest Contracts to Move Before the Deadline

Some teams are shopping players, but whether they will go anywhere or not is a different matter. Shopping bigger contracts is harder than ever with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Cost matters now more than ever. 

Contracts that were signed under the old CBA have to be viewed differently than they were. The luxury tax is so high now that, even for the most profitable teams, the punitive effect of being deep in the luxury tax is prohibitive to carrying the largest contracts unless you are getting truly elite production from that player. 

While a team like the Lakers formerly could get away with being $20 million or more above the salary cap and only pay $20 million in taxes, now the same team could have to pay as much as $70 million in taxes. When a $20 million contract costs a team close to $100 million, it gets expensive for everyone.

Granted, teams will be able to retain a max-contract player, but the days of stockpiling them are over. That means teams are going to have to be judicious in who they pay that kind of money to and who they trade for.

There are three types of contracts that are going to be much harder to move than in the past because of the new CBA: large contracts of players past their primes, players who are overpaid and uninsured contracts.Pau Gasol might have been an elite player when the Lakers acquired him, but he's not an elite player now. There are those who speculate that he could be moved for young players to build around, but that's not being realistic. Gasol has two years remaining on his contract after this year and will be making $38 million over those two years. That's nearly a third of the salary cap. 

It's hard to find an incentive for a team like Houston to give up Kyle Lowry and his entire future, along with a solid role player like Luis Scola, who is going to render a two-year return that is going to limit what else they can do in free agency. <...

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