The $17.2 million traded player exception (TPE) the Warriors received as part of last summer's Andre Iguodala trade with the Memphis Grizzlies arguably is Golden State's best non-player asset at the moment.
While the Dubs have a top-five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and what is expected to be a high pick in 2021 -- via the Minnesota Timberwolves -- the $17.2 million TPE might give the Warriors the best chance of acquiring a sure thing.
There are numerous areas of the NBA collective bargaining agreement that can be awfully complex to comprehend, and TPEs certainly qualify. Given that, here is a breakdown of everything you need to know about the Warriors' $17.2 million TPE.
How it was created:
By trading Iguodala to the Grizzlies last offseason without taking back any salary in return, the Warriors received a TPE worth the value of Iguodala's 2019-20 contract, plus $100k ($17.2 million).
How it can be used:
TPEs can be used in two different types of NBA transactions: simultaneous and non-simultaneous. In a simultaneous trade, teams can trade one or more players and acquire more salary than they send away. In a non-simultaneous trade, only one player can be traded, and the trading team has one year* to use the resulting TPE, which has a value equivalent to that player's salary plus $100k.
The Warriors' $17.2 million TPE was created in and must be used in a non-simultaneous trade.
When it expires*:
Traditionally, TPEs from non-simultaneous trades must be used within one year of the date on which they are created. However, that's not the case with the Warriors' $17.2 million TPE.
Due to the lengthy pause of the current season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the NBA reportedly has pushed back the expiration deadline for TPEs to correspond with the adjusted 2020-21 league year. As such, Golden State's $17.2 million TPE reportedly won't expire until Oct. 24. That was tremendous news for the Warriors, as the TPE originally was slated to expire on July 7.
How it can't be used:
TPEs created in non-simultaneous trades cannot be combined with one another, nor can they be combined with other exceptions. Additionally, they can't be combined with other player salaries, or used to sign free agents.
So, the Warriors cannot combine any other salaries or exceptions to increase the maximum salary they could absorb using the $17.2 million TPE.
Who could be acquired using it:
In theory, the Warriors could acquire any NBA player using the $17.2 million TPE whose 2020-21 salary is equal or lesser to that value. That's no small chunk of change, so Golden State should be able to get involved with any high-salaried players that are made available on the trade market. Given the expected drop in league revenue due to the pandemic, it wouldn't be surprising if teams made more of those types of players available so as to lower tax payments, etc.
When it can be used:
The Warriors can't use the $17.2 million TPE until the conclusion of the free-agency moratorium, currently set for Oct. 23. If it expires on Oct. 24 as reported, that would give them 36 hours within which to utilize it. They can't announce any trades prior to that 36-hour period, though they will be able to negotiate with other teams during the moratorium. Any player Golden State acquired using the TPE would be added to the team's 2020-21 salary cap.
Considering the Warriors already are projected to be a tax-paying team, using the full value of the $17.2 million TPE could greatly increase their tax payments. However, that might be necessary if Golden State is going to compete for the championship next season.
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