There probably isn't a team in the NBA that hasn't had Dec. 15 circled on their calendars.
The reason why? It's the first day players who signed contracts in the offseason can be traded.
The rule doesn't apply to everyone who signed a contract in the summer of 2019 - Klay Thompson and Nikola Vucevic are among the players who can't be traded until Jan. 15, whereas Eric Gordon and Bradley Beal can't be traded at all this season - but it does apply to most. The list of players now available features a variety of names, from Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler to Thaddeus Young, Avery Bradley and Stanley Johnson.
Unlikely as it is that superstars like Irving, Leonard and Butler will be wearing different uniforms by the end of this season, teams in general now have fewer restrictions when it comes to putting together deals that can improve their roster.
Take the Los Angeles Lakers as an example. It's been almost impossible for them to make a trade to this point of season because they signed 10 players to contracts in the offseason, including Danny Green, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins. Whether or not they trade one of them or someone else on the roster remains to be seen, but they at least now have the option of including some combination of them in a trade.
That will make it easier for teams - not necessarily the Lakers, but others - to target players who are on bigger contracts, such as Kevin Love, who the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly ready to listen to trade offers for. Whereas certain players were off the table at the start of the season, it won't be as difficult for teams to build packages to match Love's salary of nearly $30 million this season.
MORE: Trade destinations for Love
None of this necessarily means that it'll be a busy trade season - there are a number of factors at play that could make it a quiet one, especially compared to last season, as John Hollinger of The Athletic recently detailed - but that won't stop the rumours from flying around like they always do.
So which players could be traded?
In addition to Love, Chris Paul has been a trade candidate since the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired him in the offseason, although the amount of money that's remaining on his contract will make any trade for him difficult.
D'Angelo Russell is in a similar boat as Paul, as there were questions about how long he'd be on the Golden State Warriors as soon as the signed the contract he did. Especially now that the Warriors know they won't be competing for a playoff spot this season, they might choose to trade him for someone who better fits around their All-Star trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green moving forward.
Beyond them, Andre Iguodala will likely be on a different team by the end of the season, whether the Memphis Grizzlies trade him or buy him out. The Grizzlies reached a deal with Iguodala before the season that allows him to basically do his own thing until the franchise finds him a new home.
MORE: Trade destinations for Iguodala
Someone like Tristan Thompson could also be on the move if the Cavaliers aren't interested in keeping him long-term and want to get something in return for him before he potentially leaves the franchise as an unrestricted free agency after this season. The same applies for Thunder forward Danilo Galinari, who is on the final year of his contract.
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.