After two one-point losses in a row, it’s nice to take a step back and work up a healthy rage about something else.
As the NBA’s trade deadline came and went without so much as a member of the Utah Jazz frontcourt moving, the internet was flooded with pieces detailing the dreaded effects of the new CBA on luxury tax teams and player movement and the NBA’s new proletariat being crushed underfoot by the lame-duck commish, David Stern.
Ken Berger put it well for cbssports.com:
This is how business is done now in the NBA. No blockbuster trades in February. Few, if any teams are willing to absorb future salary, which would clog up their books and restrict access to tools needed to improve their rosters. Nobody is willing to give up draft picks as incentive to move a contract or rent a player for the stretch run. No more Monopoly money.
What Stern, Hunter, Adam Silver and the rest accomplished two summers ago became as clear as daylight Thursday. They turned the NBA into the NFL — the No Fun League — when it comes to the trades and in-season player movement. No more stars forcing trades to the markets of their choosing with the reward of max dollars forming the cherry on top.
“This is a pure CBA deadline,” one general manager said Thursday after the dust settled. “If you can’t get a first for J.J. Redick, this is a different world. That guy is a surefire lock to garner a first round pick in the past.”
Maybe this is part of the reason so many agents and players have turned on Hunter, who presided over this erosion of their free-agent and trade-deadline Romper Room. Who your agent is and where you insist on being traded won’t matter as much anymore. What will matter is the draft — picks are more coveted than ever — not to mention smart, long-term planning, player development and scouting. There’s no more running up the credit card bill and then dumping it on the next guy, who will in turn dump it on somebody else. Everyone, every team, has to do the work now — has to scout well, draft well, develop players and build.
Like the NFL. Like the model that Silver, the NBA’s lead negotiator, so admired.
“That’s an astute observation,” another executive said Thursday when I told him that the CBA had killed the trade deadline. And it had. Twelve trades over the past two days, and none of them relevant in the traditional way trades have been evaluated.
Myself, I’ve never understood why a team that isn’t going anywhere would trade assets for a guy who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. I get Bird Rights and all, but ever since Danny Manning was moved for Dominique Wilkins, I’ve never understood what the Hawks were thinking — so it comes as a little hyperbolic for an anonymous GM to pull that Redick quote about ‘for sure’ getting at least a first-rounder.
But then there’s Spencer Hawes. Ayn Rand applies to everything anyway, so a free market most certainly would explain this would-be, hopeful, Players’ Union Leader, Paul Ryan acolyte… oh whatever.
Watching the new cba play out and how it prevents teams from improving this year at the deadline. Taxes hamper growth in every spectrum
— Spencer Hawes (@spencerhawes00)February 21, 2013
It’s ridiculous to think, reflecting on the recoil of Kevin Garnett’s lockout (really, it was the Big Country Reeves lockout, but I digress) and hope for free markets to correct Glen Taylor’s demand on David Kahn’s services.
My favorite reply to Hawes’ tweets: Do taxes prevent you from rebounding?