ADDED 10:31AM Feb 24, 2011 by phjoshua
Everyone remembers last summer and “The Decision” – but it’s the fallout from that situation that has me looking around the NBA and wondering what is going to happen next.
After the 2009-2010 season both Chris Bosh and LeBron James decided to leave their teams and head to Miami in free agency. That was their prerogative. I’m not here to argue the validity of their choice. It’s the aftermath. That’s what I want to look at.
This is what we’ve seen this season already since in the 2010-2011 season – Carmelo Anthony forced his way out of Denver with the threat of leaving via free agency and leaving the organization empty handed. He also picked his team. Essentially Melo turned the trade into early free agency for himself.
Side note: I believe that long-term the Nuggets won that trade, but that’s not the point right now.
The Nuggets did not want to end up like Toronto and Cleveland. They wanted to get a measurable return for the best player on their roster. And I don’t blame them for that at all. Raptor fans pushed for Bryan Colangelo to trade Bosh last season because the general feeling was that he would not be returning. The return on investment via sign and trade was nowhere near what he would have fetched in the open trade market.
So the Nuggets made their decision based on what they saw in 2 other circumstances. Good for them. Then came along the Utah Jazz who shocked the basketball world on Wednesday when they traded their All-Star point guard, Deron Williams, to the New Jersey Nets. I did not see this trade coming at all. Especially after Jazz coach Jerry Sloan stepped down. The rumors had been that Williams won a locker room dispute that pushed Sloan out of Utah. But if that was the case I don’t think this trade happens.
The word around the league and in the media now is that the Jazz knew that Williams would want out of Utah at the end of the 2011-2012 season when his current contract expires. So to make sure that they weren’t put in the same situation as the Nuggets (who didn’t want to be in the same situation as the Raptors and Cavaliers) they moved their star now. The whole thing has become a fear based system. Teams know that players hold all the cards in the current NBA atmosphere. The players know it as well.
I’m ready to call this “The Decision Trickle-Down Effect”. Organizations have started to look so far ahead that they are moving pieces long before they used to. Winning this season has, for the most part, been replaced with not losing key pieces in 6 to 18 months. It is hurting fans and teams and win/loss records. And it needs to stop. Look for the Owners to try and correct this imbalance during CBA talks in the offseason. They can’t be happy. The Decision Trickle-Down Effect is not something they want to see spread.