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What did NBA Commissioner Adam Silver have to say about KD’s trade situation?

Whether you love it or hate it, the situation between the Nets and their star sets a potentially dangerous precedent for future negotations between players and their teams.

What did NBA Commissioner Adam Silver have to say about KD’s trade situation?
Thearon W. HendersonAFP

With Kevin Durant’s name dominating the majority of news coming out of the NBA, it was only a matter of time before the league’s commissioner had something to say and it was interesting to say the least.

NBA’s Adam Silver weighs in on Kevin Durant trade saga

It’s now been two weeks since Kevin Durant rocked the NBA with his trade request. Since then, we’ve seen fans and players alike give their views and we’ve also seen plenty of rumors regarding varying teams and the trade package they’d like to offer. What we have not heard, however, is what the league itself thinks about the story of the summer. During a recent press conference at the NBA’s Summer League, commissioner Adam Silver was questioned directly about the situation and gave some intriguing responses. Here’s how the exchange went:

Reporter: Back in February, you talked about how having stars making trade demands was not necessarily good for the league. Curious when you have Kevin Durant, one of the two or three biggest stars in the league making a trade demand, days before his own four-year extension even kicks in, what’s your response when you see that or what’s your reaction when you see that?

Adam Silver: My view hasn’t changed. I don’t know whether his - whether he requested a trade or demanded one, frankly. Look, this needs to be a two-way street. Teams provide enormous security and guarantees to players and the expectation is, in return, they will meet their end of the bargain. I’m realistic that there’s always conversations that are going to go on behind closed doors between players and their representatives and the teams. But we don’t like to see players requesting trades, and we don’t like to see it playing out the way it is. I mean, ideally, especially as I was just saying in response to the last question, the basketball was fantastic this past season, the playoffs, we had a wonderful Finals. I don’t want to be naïve, but I would love the focus to be on the play on the floor.

And as to what we can do about this issue, again, when a player asks to be moved, it has a ripple effect on a lot of other players, on that player’s team and other teams. So, it’s not just potentially the league or the team governors who are impacted by that, but lots of other players as well. It’s one of those issues that as we move into this collective bargaining cycle, which we are just beginning now, we intend to discuss with our Players Association and see if there are remedies for this. Again, as I said, it will never be the case when players won’t be unhappy in certain situations, but we don’t want to see it playing out the way it is now. I think it is something where there is mutuality of interests between the players collectively and the league, having more stability. So that’s something we’ll be discussing with the union.

What can we take from Adam Silver’s comments?

If there is one thing that’s clear, it’s that Silver is not pleased about the situation. On one side, he acknowledged that there is a consistent line of trade requests and off-court drama which in turn decreases the focus on the game itself and ultimately converts the league into what can only be considered a soap opera. Silver notes that the capacity that stars have to force their way out of contracts regardless of how many years are left on them is not a good place for the league to be. Then there’s the other side of things. Fans clearly have an interest in seeing the drama unfold. So much so in fact, that the league itself has grown in popularity because of it. Then there is the hard truth of the matter which is to say, no player who’s winning is likely to leave his team, so who is to blame? Ultimately, it matters not which side you take, it’s more a question of sustainability. With that in mind, consider Silver’s additional comments:

“As I said, though, it takes both us and the Players Association sitting down and I think acknowledging the principles that are at stake here, and that is the sanctity of contracts and the desire for stability that affects not just that player but other players as well. ...I am hopeful. We have a very productive relationship with our Players Association. We are not necessarily going to completely eliminate players asking to be moved, but we are going to find a way to move the attention back on to the court.


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