Blake Griffin took a buyout from the Pistons to sign with the Nets. LaMarcus Aldridge took a buyout from the Spurs to sign with the Nets. Andre Drummond took a buyout from the Cavaliers to sign with the Lakers.
Some fans and media shrieked in horror. Some teams even want to change the buyout system in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Would the National Basketball Players Association actually go for that?
The union reflexively defends freedom of movement for players. Bought-out players get to choose their new teams.
But many players value competitive balance.
I know fans are criticizing these moves. But players, as well. I’ve gotten texts from players saying – particularly with the LaMarcus Aldridge signing – “That was a weak move. He could’ve went somewhere else. He could’ve went to Miami.”
Sometimes, the union supports policy that aggrieves the most directly affected players but lifts players collectively.
It’s unclear whether the players texting Haynes are a representative sample of the league. But it’s possible buyout reform has support on both sides of the negotiating table.
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