Trade Demands. It seems like it has gotten out of hands, as quite some notable stars have demanded to be traded in this season, as everybody already knows. It has gotten as well to a point where it feels like it is something normal to do something like that when a player doesn’t want to be on a specific team anymore. Things like that weren’t considered a “normality” in the past, hence, the players didn’t have the courage to go to the managers and say that they don’t want to be in that place anymore. They were happy and blessed just to be able to play in the NBA and earn money from a hobby, so to say.
However, the organizations were more strict back in the day than they are now, and the GM’s didn’t feel the pressure from the superstar players, it was kind of the opposite way. The moment you sign a contract, it means you need to respect it by all means, and this represents another issue. Nowadays, every sport is an industry, and marketing is what makes them millions of dollars through a year of contract, so it’s a win-win situation for both the stars who want to team-up with another stars and the league, because when a blockbuster trade is done, the viewership will increase, and that is the most important factor for the NBA as a business, the viewership, because a big part of the money comes from there.
This is the new era of basketball, where everybody wants to take the easy way, instead of building their way up to the top. After this recent free agency, though, things are looking to be more balanced coming into the next season, because now every top-tier team has a dynamic duo. We can call that, starting from now on, the “dynamic duo era” of NBA.
Recently, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the issue and said that “First of all, you know, of course that’s nothing new in the league in terms of trade demands. But it concerns all of us,” he said. “I mean, it falls in the same category of issues of the so-called rule of law within a sports league. You have a contract and it needs to be meaningful on both sides. On one hand, there’s an expectation if you have a contract and it’s guaranteed that the team is going to meet the terms of the contract, and the expectation on the other side is the player is going to meet the terms of the contract.”
He also said that NBA needs ‘enforceable’ free-agency rules; “My job is to enforce a fair set of rules for all our teams and a set of rules that are clear and make sense for everyone. I think right now we’re not quite there.”