It's possible that's true, but I think it's extraordinarily unlikely. As I've mentioned several times, media members frequently confuse the two, and team press releases even sometimes call non-guaranteed years team options because it's what fans and the media understand. And if you don't believe me on that read the shamsports article linked above.
Let's wait until we've gotten the real scoop from some some reliable sources--this distinction is definitely of the CBA-nerd variety, so it's not wise to trust mainstream sources.
I think that's a good point, and I think it's definitely why you see deals that have guarantee dates in the middle of the summer (like Lowry's) having a partially guaranteed portion. The team wants the chance to use the contract as a trade asset during free agency, like you said, but it's disadvantageous for the player, so they negotiate cash compensation instead--works out for both sides.
But what you see a lot more often are deals where the guarantee date is June 30th. That means the team has to make a decision before free agency starts, at the same time they would on a team option deal (because, like you said, the player wouldn't want to miss out on early free agency wheeling and dealing). The only difference is that the non-guaranteed version of the deal allows a trade to be made between the end of the season and the start of free agency--for example on draft day.
That is a great point.
I guess the issue becomes with having the guarantee date prior to July 1st is:
1) how much is the player asking for,
2) how much much of a cap hit does a team want to take on the following season for a guy who won't be on the roster.
"You donít know the Bruno Caboclo......"
Basketball has clear winners every night --
except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.