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Poll: The State of The League

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  • Poll: The State of The League

    There has been a relatively new trend in the league in the past few years. Players are now GM'ing, recruiting, and plotting to team up, sometimes years in advance. Tampering rules have become unenforceable, and contracts have become unenforceable too. Not every player can pull this off obviously, only high impact players can get away with it. Some recent examples of this trend, manifested in different ways:

    Paul George - As a non-free agent, asked out of Indiana to play in LA. Got traded to OKC, stayed the year, signed a 4 year deal with OKC, then a year later asked to be traded to LA.

    Jimmy Butler - As a non-free agent, forced his way out of Chicago, then forced out again out of Minesota. Had a "short list" of teams he wanted to play, composed of the NY & LA teams. Landed in Philly for a year, now in Miami.

    Kawhi Leonard - As a non-free agent, asked out of San Antonio to go to LA (near where he grew up). Landed in Toronto, played hard on his contract year giving the team a championship, then became the first finals MVP in league history to leave for a different team after winning it. In Free Agency, actively recruited Kevin Durant & Paul George (non-free agent) to play in LA, reportedly leveraging the Clippers and Raptors vs each other to inflate the payout for Paul George high enough so he could be extracted from OKC, and play with him in LA.

    Kyrie Irving - As a non-free agent, asked to be traded out of LeBron's Cleveland after winning a championship.

    Anthony Davis - As non-free agent, asked to be traded to LA, explicitly saying he wouldn't sing anywhere on a long term, undermining his team's leverage during the forced trade.

    Kevin Durant - As a free agent, left OKC to join an already established super-team in Golden State. In the following Free agency, teamed up with Kyrie Irving in NY.

    LeBron James - Likely the pioneer of this trend, has been GM'ing and actively tampering since his Miami days, generating friction within front offices, locker rooms and coaching staff in both Cleveland and in LAL, recently actively/openly recruiting non-free agent Anthony Davis.

    This is a pretty controversial topic and people have different opinions on it. Personally, I find the trend highly disturbing. I'm all for player empowerment, players make the league after all, but I also think there's a time and place for that, and it's called Free-Agency . There's something fishy when I player can say, hey "give me 4 years of guaranteed salary, regardless if I fall short on the court, or rupture my Achilles at home (like John Wall) AND I also want to be able to be out of here whenever I feel like (with that money remaining guaranteed), and I want to be free to solicit and be solicited whenever I want, getting paid the same if go somewhere else "

    Given enough seasons of this trend intensifying, this can severely cripple the parity in the league, with eventually 2 super teams in NY & LA, while the other 26 teams become farms to feed them talent. Not everyone sees it that way though. What do you think?

    A. I like it. I enjoy seeing the offseason cajoling and like the idea of superteams. It's good for the league.
    B. Meh. I don't necessarily like it, but it's a players league. I'll worry when a team in NY or LA actually wins a title with a concocted superteam
    C. It's a concern. The league thrives on parity and competition and this free-for-all hinders it. Do what you wish in free-agency, but while under contract, honour it, and earn the $ and term the team gave you.
    D. Not necessarily a problem for the league, but it's annoying. I want to see top-end players competing and trying surpass each other, rather then taking the easy way and ganging up together.

  • #2
    C. Long term this does not look good for the serious NBA fan, and subsequently the league’s potential to make money.


    • #3
      Frankly, this off-season kinda showed that players having agency may not actually lead to superteams. We're seeing more pairing up of stars, but that's fine, that's always been the model for success. But not really any 3-star set-ups were built this summer. And Durant left the Warriors, while Kawhi spurned the Lakers - possibly both driven by the lesson imparted from Durant's time with the Warriors and the sentiment that his legacy is tarnished (and that he very much experiences that) no matter how many finals MVPs he gets with that superteam.

      So I struggle with answering the poll. I'm not concerned about the trend at all, but not because I think superteams are good.


      • #4
        This has been going on for decades. Vince Carter is a true pionioneer in demanding a trade out of town and killing team trade leverage.


        • #5
          You need an option E. None of A-D are that negative.

          E/ It sucks and it's ridiculous and needs its heart cut out.


          • #6
            True on Vince Carter. He was one of the early ones. The difference with him is that if remember correctly (and maybe I don't) he didn't ask for a specific team to go to, nor did he openly plotted with another player to team up. That part seems more frequent these days, but maybe it's always been like that behind the scenes, and now it's just more noticeable because of social media. Pairing stars has always been indeed the model for success, but it's been traditionally driven by front offices. Now the players openly plan it, often ignoring league tampering rules and actual contracts.


            • #7
              It's not so black and white. Paul George forced his way out of OKC and OKC might wind up saying don't let the door hit you on the way out. The team with him and Russ was going nowhere. They were stuck with both contracts. They turn one into a treasure trove of picks and a young very promising point guard. There is more than a non zero chance that one of those guys with a history of injuries...stay injured and OKC winds up winning the deal. Can't say it hasn't happened before. Same for the Pelicans. They never won with Davis and now they have a chance to start over. Kyrie has become a walking meme. The song "Kevin is a Snake" was a big hit. LBJ missed the playoffs last year. Butler will likely miss the playoffs this year. Karma has a way of making things even. Brooklyn things they've fleeced Boston in a trade...Brooklyn falters and Boston has the treasure trove of picks...Ainge gets too proud of his treasure trove of picks and they fizzle out..Brooklyn rises from the ashes...maybe


              • #8
                Vince's situation is nothing like these. Wilt Chamberlain requested a trade from Philly to LA in 1968. Trade requests are nothing new. Players actively and visibly tampering other players is what has become the new norm. I expect the next CBA to try and address that. Not sure how though ...


                • #9
                  Whatever about the players, who deserve their agency, I just like the parity that has taken shape this offseason. There’s no clear favourite (yet), about 8 teams have a similar chance to win the next championship and that’s good for the nba and it’s fans.


                  • #10
                    SkywalkerAC wrote: View Post
                    Whatever about the players, who deserve their agency, I just like the parity that has taken shape this offseason. There’s no clear favourite (yet), about 8 teams have a similar chance to win the next championship and that’s good for the nba and it’s fans.
                    The biggest problem with this is that the Raptors aren’t one of those teams
                    The name's Bond, James Bond.


                    • #11
                      007 wrote: View Post

                      The biggest problem with this is that the Raptors aren’t one of those teams
                      Ummm ... Bruh ... we just signed RHJ ...


                      • #12
                        Joey wrote: View Post

                        Ummm ... Bruh ... we just signed RHJ ...
                        we about to run out of fingers for rings
                        Only one thing matters: We The Champs.


                        • #13
                          007 wrote: View Post

                          The biggest problem with this is that the Raptors aren’t one of those teams
                          If you don’t think we’re still a top-8 team after winning the championship, I don’t know what to tell you. I wouldn’t put money on us repeating, but I wouldn’t put money on the Clips either.
                          Last edited by SkywalkerAC; Sun Jul 7, 2019, 10:30 PM.


                          • #14
                            MixxAOR wrote: View Post

                            we about to run out of fingers for rings
                            Lol Anyone able to edit Masai's face on to this? Paging GOLDBLUM !
                            Image result for gregg popovich counting gif


                            • #15
                              I wonder what the constant bouncing around will do for average/casual fans. Is the team building drama enough of a draw? Will people follow players rather than the local team? The dynamic is a little weird for fans imho, these guys on your team you root for and your kids think they love all of a sudden publicly want to leave your city and play somewhere else with a buddy mid-contract? Don't you think that'll turn off casual or potential fans? Hardcore fans will always be here but I really wonder about the impact on the fanbases in small and mid size markets over the long term.
                              "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard