The NBA's trade deadline is fast approaching, which means the annual circus of trade speculation will undoubtedly increase by the hour until the clock hits 3 p.m. EST on February 21.
While many players remain uncertain of where their futures lie, there are a number of NBA stars that aren't going anywhere.
They are simply untradeable.
To be considered untradeable and put on this list, a player must fall into one of the following two categories:
1. The player is too critical to his team's success and of such immense quality that any realistic trade simply couldn't return a suitable player who would be deemed a success.
2. The player's contract scares away any possible suitors, as it's extremely unlikely that a team would be prepared to take on the money that is owed to him.
Additionally, the focus is limited to the stars and big names of the league. While players such as Hedo Turkoglu and Ben Gordon fit into the bad-contract category, they are not stars of the NBA and are better saved for another article.
Furthermore, to be deemed critical to the team's success, the player must be able to be considered as a long-term pillar for his organization. On this basis, players approaching the end of their careers, like Paul Pierce and Manu Ginobili (despite how great they are), will not be included.
*Note: Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan are ineligible for this list, as they are the only four players in the NBA with no-trade clauses in their contracts. While this does make them "untradeable," they are not relevant to this list, as their protection against being traded is contractually based, making them pointless additions in this context.
**All stats accurate as of Dec. 17.