There are also a few restricted free agents who either re-signed with their old teams or saw offer sheets matched since the lockout was lifted that can’t be traded until after March 1 because of various restrictions, which apply when the salary in the first year of the new contract is greater than 120 percent of the player’s salary in the final season of his previous contract … and when the player’s team is over the salary cap. Under the league’s new labor pact these players can’t be traded for three months from their signing date or January 15, whichever falls later.
Rodney Stuckey agreed to terms with the Pistons on Dec. 17, and he officially signed Dec. 19, according to Stein. That makes Stuckey eligible to be trade March 19. Unfortunately, the trade deadline is March 15.
Also, for those of you wondering, even if the Pistons had offered Stuckey only the qualifying offer, they couldn’t have traded him without his consent. Larry Coon on a time a player can’t be traded:
Without the player’s consent when the player is playing under a one-year contract (excluding any option year) and will have Larry Bird or Early Bird rights at the end of the season. This includes first round draft picks following their fourth (option) season, who accept their team’s qualifying offer for their fifth season. When the player consents to such a trade, the team loses its Larry Bird/Early Bird rights, and the player is considered a Non-Bird free agent.
Translation: If Stuckey had accepted the Pistons’ qualifying offer and agreed to a trade during the season, he would have less leverage in free agency the next summer with his new team. Short of some very extenuating circumstances, there’s little reason he would have agreed to that.
Essentially, shorter of signing him sooner – which would have meant offering more money – there was no realistic way the Pistons could sign Stuckey and trade him this season.
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