NBA player movement appears to have reached a new level after Pelicans star Anthony Davis has submitted a public trade demand. From Davis to Kyrie Irving’s exit from the Cavaliers, requests of this type have become a normal fixture of the NBA. While fans of teams in small markets may shudder at the idea of a player forcing his way out of town, The Undefeated’s Jesse Washington explained that this new freedom for players has plenty of positives.
Washington explained that the NBA’s recent uptick in trade demands can be tied to the explosion of movement already taking place in college basketball.
In the college game, 40 percent of Division I players transfer by their sophomore year, about a 50 percent increase over the last decade. Nowadays, some guys don’t even wait for the end of the season — they bounce midsemester and go straight to a new campus. On Final Four contender Nevada, the top seven scorers are from other colleges — and that’s not counting the two transfers sitting out because they arrived a few weeks ago.
Outside of the growing movement below the NBA, Washington explained that player-driven trade requests are a meaningful tool to hold franchises accountable for basketball-related decisions.
Owners and general managers should be punished for incompetence, or even just miscalculation, by losing top talent. This is the NBA version of what happens in European soccer when teams at the bottom of the standings get relegated to a lower level. That’s where the New York Knicks and Pelicans are headed after bungling their relationships with Porzingis and Davis.
Finally, Washington looked to the lengthy battle that Oscar Robertson endured with the league to gain access to free agency. Robertson’s fight for freedom of movement is the foundation for the rights that current NBA stars enjoy today.
Regardless of whether you agree with Washington, his full article on The Undefeated is worth checking out.