Teams under the salary cap may make trades as they please, as long as they don’t finish more than $100,000 above the salary cap following any trade.

If a team finishes $100,000 or more above the salary cap ($58 million), they can take back no more than 125% plus 100k of their outgoing salary.

A team cannot be left with a total salary (including holds) over its hard cap at any time following a trade or signing.

How to submit a trade:

In order to submit a trade successfully, all involved teams must submit identical trades to one of the DKC Commissioners (IndeedProceed, StartOrien, or Lucky17).

The format for submission should be:


Team A Trades: Player A, Player B, Player C
Team B Trades: Player D, Player E, Pick X (any relevant protections)

In the event of trade involving 3 or more teams, the format is mostly the same, excepting that you should also include what is coming back to each team.


Team A Trades: Player A, Player B
Team A Receives: Player C, Player F, Pick X (any relevant protections)

Team B Trades: Player C, Player D
Team B Receives: Player A, Player E

Team C Trades: Player E, Player F, Pick X (any relevant protections)
Team C Receives: Player B, Player D

Restrictions On When To Submit A Trade:

Sometimes, a critical date must be passed before a trade can go through (see below). If the trade is agreed upon before that date has passed, submission to the commissioner’s office must wait until that date, and the Insider will wait until the first business day following the critical date to start the countdown (more on that below).

Trading Picks:

Draft picks (both first and second round) count $0 for salary matching purposes. This is true both before and after the draft, until the player signs a contract.

The “Seven Year Rule” allows teams to trade draft picks up to seven years into the future (for example, if this is the 2011-12 season, then a 2018 pick can be traded, but a 2019 pick cannot).
Teams are restricted from trading away future first round draft picks in consecutive years. This is known as the “Ted Stepien Rule.” Stepien owned the Cavs from 1980-83, and made a series of bad trades (such as the 1982 trade mentioned above) that cost the Cavs several years’ first round picks. As a result of Stepien’s ineptitude, teams are now prevented from making trades which might leave them without a first round pick in consecutive future years.

The Stepien rule applies only to future first round picks. For example, if this is the 2011-12 season, then a team can trade its 2012 first round pick without regard to whether they had traded their 2011 pick, since their 2011 pick is no longer a future pick. But they can’t trade away both their 2012 and 2013 picks, since both are future picks. Teams sometimes work around this rule by trading first round picks in alternate years.

When dealing with protected picks, the Stepien rule is interpreted to mean that teams can’t trade a pick if there is any chance it will leave the team without a first round pick in consecutive future drafts. Suppose a team makes a trade in 2011-12 that conveys a first round pick sometime from 2012 to 2017. The pick is protected only if it is the first overall pick from 2012 to 2017, and if it is not conveyed by 2017, the other team gets cash instead. In other words, in order to avoid sending a pick from 2012 to 2016, the team would have to win the first overall pick in the draft lottery five seasons in a row. Even though the likelihood of this happening is essentially nil, the team is not allowed to trade its 2018 pick.

If a team trades two future first round picks and the first pick is protected, then the first pick would be conveyed in the first draft in which it is not a protected pick (as described above), and the second pick would be conveyed in the first allowable draft (per the Stepien rule) in which that pick is not protected (i.e., two years after the first pick). But since both picks must be conveyed within seven years, the protection on the first pick cannot last longer than four years (i.e., the first pick must be conveyed by the fifth year). A team can have no more than one trade with such a waiting period in effect at any time.

Player Restrictions When Trading:

-A team cannot reacquire a player they traded away during that season (a season being July 1 – following June 30). If he is waived by his new team, then he cannot re-sign with his original team until the one-year anniversary of the trade, or until the July 1 following the end of his contract, whichever comes first. However, if a team trades a player’s draft rights, they can reacquire the player during the same season.

-Cannot trade a player for two months after receiving the player in trade, if the trade aggregates the player’s salary with the salaries of other players. However, the team is free to trade the player immediately, either by himself or without aggregating his salary with other salaries. This restriction applies only to teams over the salary cap.

-Cannot trade for three months or until December 15 of that season (whichever is later) after signing a contract as a free agent or matching an offer sheet to a restricted free agent. This obviously does not apply to the trade completing a sign-and-trade transaction. For all contracts signed previous to opening day, they can be traded 12/15. 

-Cannot trade a player for 30 days after signing as a draft pick.

Dealing With No-Trade Clauses

Few players have a no-trade clause. Some players (KG and famously Kobe Bryant) have them specifically built into their contracts. Some players have them automatically included. The players that have them automatically included are:

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, his Larry Bird/Early Bird rights are not traded with him, and instead becomes a Non-Bird free agent2.

For one year after exercising the right of first refusal to keep a restricted free agent. The player must consent to a trade to any team, although he cannot be traded to the team that signed him to the offer sheet.

This is how no-trade clauses are resolved:


Since it hasn’t come up since Kobe, we haven’t had to issue anything new about no-trade clauses. Previously, we had Roy doing some strict method acting in the role of players ‘being convinced’ to be traded, but with Roy now a major mover and shaker within the league, we have been forced to head in another direction.

It is simple. We’re gonna roll it out. Each player will be assigned a threshold they have to meet in order to be traded. The harder the sell, the higher the threshold (we’re still ironing out how that’s going to work, but likely it’ll be assigned by 3 people similar to FAM rankings). It will be on a scale of 1-20. This may sound familiar to some of you, and if it does…NERD!

If they are a really hard sell, they’re gonna have like a 16 or 17. If they’re an easy sell, they’ll have a 4 or 5.

Then, we’re gonna ‘roll’ 3 10-sided die, tossing out the lowest toss. If the sum of the resulting 2 dice meets or exceeds the threshold, the player agrees to waive their no-trade clause. If it does not..they don’t.

DKC Insider Trade Reports

Everytime a trade is agreed upon, a report will be issued both in the DKC League General Commentary thread and in a mass-PM to all managers.

The report may have all the details of the trade, or a portion of the details of the trade. The critical point is that all major moving pieces are included.

Whether a trade is minor or significant is at the discretion of the Commish announcing the trade. A major trade will be defined below, but has more strict criteria. Minor trades have a 6 hour hold, Significant Trades have a 24 hr hold, Major trades have a 48 hour hold.

Minor: Small transaction, likely NOT involving any starting caliber players, NOT involving good prospects (prospects that project to be productive starting-caliber players***). A single future first projected to be in the 20-30 range is a minor asset, as are future 2nds.

Significant: A trade involving good prospects (players likely to develop into productive starting-caliber options), ‘starting caliber players’***, future firsts that could project to be in the teens, multiple lesser future firsts.

Major: A franchise-altering trade. A trade is major if it
1) Features a player drafted in the top-5 during the previous year
2) Features an elite prospect*** (prospect with a >50% chance at becoming a all-star one day)
3) Features an all-star from the previous 2 seasons
4) Features a pick that has a high probability of falling within the lottery (protections are considered here)
5) Is terribly unbalanced***

*** means: at the commish’s discretion

The Timing On A Trade

Recently we’ve had a couple GMs ask questions or voice confusion about what can or cannot happen during the trading process. Most of you already know this, but some of you might not, so to make it 100% explicit and clear, here is the timing on a trade:

Step 1: Both teams agree to a trade in principal, they send identical confirmations to one or more of the DKC Commishes.

Step 2: As long as the trade is within DKC Rules and Regs the trade will be revealed to the rest of the DKC GMs in the form of an Insider Report that will be both posted in the forums and sent out via mass PM. The report will contain a deadline based on the impact the trade has on the DKC. For example, in a recent trade between NYK and SAC exchanging Kris Humphries for Javale McGee, the trade was bigger than minimal but less than major, the deadline was set for 7PM Tuesday.

Between the time the trade is announced and the time of the deadline passing, both (or ‘all’, in the case of 3 or more team trades) teams in the trade have the right to remove themselves from the trade for any reason. This waiting period serves two purposes:

1) Informs the league know a guy is available, and gives everyone one last shot to get a bid in on them.

2) Lets all the GMs involved get feedback from the rest of the league on a trade, and gives GMs a chance to walk away without penalty if they have second thoughts.

During this waiting period, either party in a trade can:

1) Take a better offer from another team (ending the previous trade and starting a new clock).

2) Walk away completely from a trade without any kind of penalty.

This was built by design to perform these services, and there is again, no penalty in exercising the use of them. Its not advised that people do it frequently, its not advised that people use it as a barometer on whether or not a trade is worthwhile (that’s what PMs are for), but if you really feel genuine buyers’ remorse after a trade, or get a better offer during the waiting period, it is 100% okay to extricate yourself from the agreement before the deadline.

To address concerns, if people begin to abuse this process, we’ll look at it again.

Step 3: The deadline passes, nothing happened, trade goes through.


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