It's NBA trade deadline season, which means plenty of rumors flying everywhere and, if it's anything like last year, perhaps some action. Here is a quick primer on what you need to know.

When is the NBA trade deadline?

All trades must be sent to the NBA by 3 p.m. ET Thursday, Feb. 17. That means that while trades might still be getting reported in the hours afterward, things usually are sewn up and clarified by the end of the business day Thursday.

MORE: 15 worst, most untradable contracts in the NBA

Can trades happen after the NBA trade deadline?

No. Major League Baseball has a system that allows teams to trade players who clear waivers. The NBA does not. Waiving a player makes him a free agent. In the NBA, teams will have to wait until after their seasons end to make trades.

MORE: 11 teams with very real goals for the trade deadline

What are t

he salary cap rules in NBA trading?

These are complicated, and we recommend a quick glance at Larry Coon's Salary Cap FAQ for more detail. But in short, most NBA teams are at or above the salary cap. But the NBA has a soft salary cap, which means teams can trade players whose contracts are of similiar value.

This can become complex because of extensions and other quirks in contracts, so we'll just suggest you use the trade check machines at RealGM or ESPN to see if the deal you want your team to make actually works. For teams below the salary cap who will stay below the salary cap after the trade, there are no rules to bog them down.

MORE: 5 reasons not to expect any fireworks at the deadline

Which players will be on the move in the 2016 NBA trade deadline?

Well, we don't know. But it's always a good guess to look at good players whose teams are struggling and might not want them for the long term and upcoming free agents. Some examples for 2016: Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson, Nets swingman Joe Johnson and Lakers center Roy Hibbert.

Upcoming free agents in general are traded when a team doesn't know if it can re-sign the player. Don't expect the Thunder to trade Kevin Durant, of course, but this could force the Grizzlies' hand with Mike Conley or the Hawks' with Al Horford or the Rockets' with Dwight Howard.

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