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What it would take for the Dallas Mavericks to trade Josh Green

The factors in play for a trade of the recently-extended Dallas Mavericks guard

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Mavericks trade Josh Green right now? This is the question I’ve gotten the most this season, so I wanted to write an article to give a full explanation.

This question has created a lot of confusion. I believe this is because there are different rules for the two types of extensions: Veteran Extensions and Rookie Scale Extensions.

Veteran Extensions: If extended to more than 3 seasons into the future (including the current one) and giving more than a 5% raise = Can’t be traded for 6 months. These restrictions exactly match what IS allowed if you trade for a player and then extend them. A good example was when Jonas Valanciunas was traded from the Grizzles to the Pelicans and extended 2 years at the absolute most he could. 2 extra seasons with an initial 5% increase and a 2nd season 5% raise.

Rookie Extensions: Can be traded and extended up to a max immediately. This happened with James Harden. He was traded to Houston on Oct 27th, 2012 and was able to sign a 5-year 78.78 rookie max extension four days later on Oct 31st, 2012.

Since the “trade and then extend” prohibition isn’t there for players on rookie scale contracts, they have eased up the “extend and then trade” for these players. As a note, rookie scale contracts can ONLY be extended in the off-season between their 3rd and 4th season. Specifically, it’s only from July 1st through 6 pm Eastern the day before their 4th season begins.

BUT they do restrict the trade and extend some. I believe this is there to somewhat impede teams from blindsided players. Imagine if a team could technically sign a player to a 5-year rookie extension and then immediately trade that player unimpeded to a team the player would not have agreed to go to.

Poison Pill

The provision to restrict rookies from being extended and THEN traded is nicknamed the poison pill. This is just a name that reflects the trade math imbalance that is at play. If you haven’t understood before, trades are completed from each team’s perspective. Usually, the numbers that both sides are working with are the same. If the Mavericks had traded Josh last season, then the Mavericks and the other team would have used $3,098,400 as the number for Josh. Since the number is the same, the math is simple. After a rookie is extended, the number would no longer be the same for both sides. The MAVS would use his current season salary $4,765,339, but the receiving team would use the average of his current season and all extension years divided by the years. As you see in the calculation, the receiving team would have to use $11,441,335 as the incoming salary.

MORE TRADE MATH

The NBA changed the trade math this year and that’s made these types of trades a lot easier to complete with one big caveat. That caveat is if the team is above the first apron. In previous years all teams operated with this structure below. As detailed in Larry Coon’s CBAFAQ. However, it does need to be updated since it’s changed.

For teams below the Apron, the trade math has gotten more flexible for making trades.

This means the Mavericks can send out Josh Green for a player that doubles his salary plus $250,000. And, if the other team is under the first apron, then the other team can receive his higher $11,441,335 with a player making a little less than half that amount. Here are the calculations for that.

If the Mavericks are trying to deal Green to one of the teams above the apron, then the math gets much harder. Which teams are above the apron? Glad you asked, here’s the list.

Here are the trade math rules for these 7 teams for the 2023-24 season and the even more restrictive trade math for teams above the first apron in the 2024-25 season.

Can the Mavericks trade Green by himself to an apron team and make the math work? No

A trade with one of these teams could still work but would have to be expanded. It is doable because the Mavericks are below the apron. If the Mavericks added Richaun Holmes it would look like this.

Even adding a small salary like Seth Curry would make a trade with an above-apron team possible.

Therefore, the Mavericks shouldn’t have a big problem creating a legal trade using Green. The bigger problem, if you are looking to use Green to upgrade the roster, is that his value around the league might not be that high right now. Dallas would be potentially selling low.

However, this article wasn’t a commentary on whether the Mavericks should trade Josh Green, but if they could trade him. My main motivation for these explainer articles is to help you have more fun being a fan by understanding the rules.