When Is the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline?
The 2021-22 NBA season is moving along quickly. Soon, teams will approach the halfway point of their 82-game journeys and be forced to analyze where their club stands amongst the rest of the league. Fortunately, that’s where the trade deadline comes in.
The annual trade deadline gives 30 teams an opportunity to shake things up. For contenders, that means bolstering their rosters in an effort to secure the coveted Larry O’Brien Trophy. For pretenders, it means parting with talented players as a means to set things up for future success.
With Christmas Day in the rearview, the trade deadline is the next big event on the NBA calendar. And it will arrive before you know it.
The 2022 NBA trade deadline is on February 10
There are going to be a handful of players who tell their Valentines they’re on the move to another team. That’s because the NBA trade deadline is on February 10, 2022, at 3 p.m. EST.
As of 2018, the league has had its trade deadline come 10 days before the All-Star Game. Previously, the deadline would come on the Thursday after the All-Star Game. So now there will be a sizable gap between this year’s deadline and the 2022 All-Star Game in Cleveland on February 20.
The NBA trade deadline has undergone various date changes since the league’s inaugural season. Changes have included starting in mid-January to coming on the 16th Thursday of the season. One of the biggest changes came in 2002, where rather than changing the day, the time was shifted to 3 p.m. EST. Until that point, the deadline came in the evening or at midnight.
The trade deadline forces teams to make difficult decisions
By the time February 10 rolls around, there will be just around two months left in the regular season. By that point, teams should have a firm grasp of where they stand in contrast to the competition. But for some teams that are stuck in the middle, the deadline spurs action one way or another.
For instance, a .500 team can look at its roster and say, “We’re only a player or two away from contending!” But for all of the highly optimistic clubs out there, there are just as many saying, “Is trying to win this season worth sacrificing our future for?”
Additionally, contending teams may not want to mess with a winning formula by executing any deals ahead of the deadline. Conversely, a rebuilding team might want to exercise patience rather than blowing things up even further.
There is a level of risk no matter where any team stands. It’s part of what makes the trade deadline so exciting to follow for the media and fans alike.
What could happen during this year’s deadline?
Inevitably, there will be some players and draft picks that get moved from one team to another. But some names who could be on the move on bigger than others.
There may not be a more prominent name to watch than Ben Simmons. The disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers point guard has yet to play all season after demanding a trade last summer. At this point, Philly would love to find a taker for the three-time All-Star. But it will need to find a team willing to offer a fair package in return and willing to take on three more seasons of Simmons’ five-year, $177 million contract.
The Indiana Pacers are a team many believe is trending toward a rebuild. If that’s the case, standout veterans like Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, and Caris LeVert could all be on the move. The same can be said for the Sacramento Kings, who are reportedly interested in dealing former lottery picks Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III.
Of course, there’s always the possibility of a surprise team. That could be the Golden State Warriors making a move to further boost their championship hopes. We could see the Cleveland Cavaliers go all-in to address their thinning guard depth. There’s also a possibility the Los Angeles Lakers revamp a roster that already saw major turnover over the offseason.
Expect plenty of trade chatter between now and February 10.
All trade deadline info courtesy of NBA.com.