In today’s NBA where players switching teams has become somewhat of a norm, commissioner Adam Silver isn’t the biggest fan of trade demands from players surfacing in the media.
Over the past couple years we’ve seen some of the league’s biggest names, including the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis and Jimmy Butler, voice their desire to move on. All their demands to be traded surfaced quickly, with teams across the league becoming aware of the players’ uneasiness in their current situation. However, Silver told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that trade requests shouldn’t be made public and wished teams handled them internally.
“I would just say, blanketedly, no, I don’t like trade demands, and I wish they didn’t come, and I wish all those matters were handled behind closed doors,” Silver said Saturday at his annual news conference at All-Star Weekend.
“In terms of trade demands, again, certainly, that’s nothing new in this league, and I won’t name names, but some of the greatest players in the history of this league have demanded trades at various points in their contract,” Silver said. “Having said that, no one likes to see an instance where a player is demanding that he be traded when he still is in the middle of a contractual obligation to a team.”
Of course, one of the biggest headlines halfway through this season has been the status of Anthony Davis whose trade request went public back in January. Adam Silver found it appropriate to levy down a fine for the public request and docked Davis’ agent, Klutch Sports’ Rich Paul, $50,000.
Though players demanding trades or growing tired of their situations isn’t a new revelation, we are seeing more players than ever try to move on before the expiration of their contract. While it’s largely a player’s league, these demands have hurt teams across the association, specifically smaller markets.
Still, Silver also pointed out that teams can be just as unfair as players in certain instances, and added that this type of media attention isn’t what the NBA is looking for.
“Of course, teams also blindside players, too, and trade them,” Silver said. “I think the issue ultimately is that, whether it be a team or a player not meeting a contractual obligation, I mean, that’s something I think you just don’t want to see as a league, even if it’s a one-year contract or a five-year contract, that’s a commitment the player makes, and that’s a commitment the organization makes to that player with a guaranteed contract…”
“I think, when they make a public spectacle of it, I hear you in terms of the enormous media interest that comes from it, but that’s not the kind of media interest we’re looking for.”