Season 2024 will look a little different in the Sal’s NBL with finals back at home venues and the launch of the Sky Broadband Rapid League adding variation to the competition, but the most intriguing innovation of the season may be the introduction of a trade window which is set to shake things up mid-way through the 2024 season.
This will be the first known instance of a trade window being introduced to a professional sports league in New Zealand and it is sure to capture the minds of fans across the country as they dream up the perfect lineup for their favourite squad.
General Manager of Leagues Maree Taylor believes the move will add another exciting element to the competition, provide players with some added choices and, importantly, potentially increase money available to players.
“Together with Sky Sport, we have been working on a trade window for the last 18 months, and we have now got it to a stage where it will be introduced in 2024. We think all stakeholders will enjoy it, especially the fans,” said Taylor.
“It’s important any player being traded agrees to it, that’s a non-negotiable rule, but we like the prospect of more money going into the player pool via the trade window. We are confident we will see a flurry of activity each year when the trade window comes around and that it will drive interest, discussion and stories.
“We want people talking about basketball, we want to increase media coverage and we want our fans even more engaged than they already are. In a crowed sporting landscape, it is important that the league continues to look for ways to engage our fan base. As we add new initiatives, the League will continue to work closely with teams to review our activity each post season and make amends where needed,” concluded Taylor.
The 66-hour trade window will take place at the completion of Round 7, a week before the halfway mark of the regular season, and it comes with a big twist.
Any team that completes a trade for an incoming player during the trade window will receive an additional 6.5% on their salary cap, an incentive sure to get coaches and general managers from teams across the league thinking about the upside of bringing a player in from another team.
The additional salary cap space only applies if you trade for an incoming player, not if you solely trade a player out to another team, and the extra cap space can be spent on any player on the roster, including the incoming traded player, or even the recruitment of another new player during the second half of the season.
There are some rules to adhere to, the main one being both the player and the team they are being traded from having to agree to the trade.
Sky Sport’s Justin Nelson, who leads the broadcaster’s drive to boost fandom, is looking forward to the move and congratulated the league on striving towards innovation that delivers exciting and engaging new concepts for fans and viewers.
“The Sal’s NBL continues to lead the way in New Zealand when it comes to innovative concepts and finding new ways to engage with fans. Over the last two years we have seen player timeouts and the Sky Broadband Rapid League come in, both being world firsts, and now there is a trade window on the way that is sure to spark some chin wags,” said Nelson.
“Today’s young fans are built different, they engage and immerse themselves in sport differently to previous generations, and it’s pleasing to see the Sal’s NBL at the forefront of driving fandom. This is a league that is prepared to put its fans first and try different things that connect with their fans.”
Trade Window – What You Need To Know