- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 10, 2019

In his annual press conference at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday that the league must address both the practice of public trade demands and the rules regulating free agency.

This came after the latest whirlwind of player movement in the NBA, which included Anthony Davis requesting a trade from New Orleans during the 2018-19 season, marquee free agents like Kevin Durant signing with new teams immediately after the official start of free agency, and Kawhi Leonard convincing Paul George to request a trade out of Oklahoma City to join Leonard with the Clippers.

“My sense in the room today was, especially when it comes to free agency and the rules around it, that we’ve got work to do,” Silver said. “And as I said, it’s still the same principles of fair balance of power and a sense that it’s a level playing field.”

Silver said teams are “put in difficult situations” when players and their agents deal with other teams in ways that don’t strictly follow the rules of the collective bargaining agreement.

“My job is to enforce a fair set of rules for all our teams and a set of rules that are clear and make sense for everyone,” he said. “I think right now we’re not quite there.”

The commissioner also called trade demands “disheartening,” adding that player contracts need to be “meaningful on both sides.”

“They’re disheartening to the team. They’re disheartening to the community and don’t serve the player well,” Silver said. “The players care about their reputations just as much. And so that’s an issue that needs to be addressed.”

It is unclear where the NBA will go from here, however, to address their concerns. Silver said some of it is “systematic” and should be tackled in collective bargaining. The current CBA runs through the 2023-24 season, but either the league or the players union may opt out after 2022-23.

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