Anthony Davis’ public demand for a trade has become an ongoing soap opera for the NBA as the Pelicans failed to make a deal before the transfer deadline
Published 2:13 PM, February 18, 2019
Updated 2:13 PM, February 18, 2019
ROOM TO IMPROVE. NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the league can do a better job in issues that play out publicly. File photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP
CHARLOTTE, USA – NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday, February 17, he is open to talks with union leaders and rule changes to better handle situations like Anthony Davis’ public demand for a trade.
The situation has become an ongoing soap opera for the league since the NBA star revealed last month he wanted a trade but the Pelicans did not make a deal before last week’s transfer deadline.
The league fined Davis $50,000 for his agent going public with the demand, hurting the bargaining posture for the Pelicans in whatever deal might get done, and have said the team cannot bench Davis with two months remaining in the campaign.
Speaking on the eve of the 68th NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, Silver said he was confident league and union officials could sort out a better fix to avoid a repeat of the awkward situation.
“You don’t want to see that play out publicly,” Silver said. “It’s an area when we can do better. It’s something where we have to sit down with the players association. We can fix it.”
“We still have work to do.”
Noting the difference between player tampering and trade demands, Silver said he feels the league has so far done what it can to combat both, having fined club executives whose praise of rival talent might be seen as crossing into enticement.
“Within reason, we’re doing a good job enforcing our rules,” Silver said. “There’s very little I’m ever going to do to stop that completely.”
Saying the goal is to provide a fair situation for all 30 clubs, he added, “Over time we will do a better job there.”
The notion of keeping trade demands private, however, has not always happened.
“It hasn’t worked out as we had planned,” Silver said. “When they make a public spectacle … that’s not the kind of media interest we’re looking for.”
Silver noted that 40 percent of players will be free agents after this season.
“That player movement can be positive for a lot of teams,” Silver said.
Past issues of small-market teams having less to spend than teams from larger cities have given way to clubs being more willing to pour money into being contenders no matter the size of the area, Silver noting poor runs by New York, Los Angeles and Chicago teams in recent years.
“Often that disparity is not based on the size of the market. It’s based on the team willing to become unprofitable,” he said.
“You want parity of opportunity but you don’t want competition that takes away incentives for teams to be great.”
“I think the issues are fixable. We can still come up with a better situation to create more competition.”