Warriors' Steve Kerr blasts Anthony Davis forcing his way to Lakers with trade demand: 'It's bad for the league'
Kerr says 'if you sign the contract, then you should be bound to that contract'
It looks like Steve Kerr is willing to stir the pot a little bit heading into the new season.
"I'm talking more about the Anthony Davis situation," Kerr said on The Warriors Insider Podcast. "Where a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and says, 'I want to leave.' That's a real problem that the league has to address and that the players have to be careful with.
"When you sign on that dotted line, you owe your effort and your play to that team, to that city, to the fans. And then [once the contract runs out] it's completely your right to leave as a free agent. But if you sign the contract, then you should be bound to that contract.
Kerr continued to elaborate on the issue and how Davis forced his way out of New Orleans by holding the team hostage. The situation became a puddled mess after Davis' agent, Rich Paul, went public with Davis' desire to leave the Pelicans in January of the 2018-19 season. The Pelicans initially had planned to sit Davis for the remainder of the season, only to renege on that plan after the NBA threatened to fine New Orleans if they did so.
Kerr didn't hold back, saying the whole Davis situation was "bad for the league."
"If you come to an agreement with the team that, hey, it's probably best for us to part ways, that's one thing. But the Davis stuff was really kind of groundbreaking -- and hopefully not a trend, because it's bad for the league."
This offseason has certainly been an eventful one -- which led to the power structure in the league changing. Davis eventually found his way to the Lakers via trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. In even more unexpected news, Paul George was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Clippers and pair up with Kawhi Leonard. This was despite the fact that George had just signed a contract with the Thunder prior to last season and was under contract for at least one more season.
While a lot of people will certainly take issue with Kerr's opinion, citing transactions such as Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins signing with the franchise in recent years, those deals all took place with both players being free agents. Kerr's main gripe here is with players who are under contract that demand trades out of their current organizations despite having made a commitment after signing on the dotted line.
Kerr made sure to explain the differences between how Durant joined the Warriors and how Davis joined the Lakers.
"There's a way to move and a way to not move," Kerr said. "What LeBron did, played out his contract. What Kevin did both when he arrived at Golden State and when he left. You sign contracts, you play them out and you move on. That's how it should be done.
"But it's a little disturbing that there has been some action that happens before contracts are up, where teams are sort of held hostage and the league is sort of held hostage. I'm not a big fan of that. That's damaging for everybody."
This is certainly an issue after recent developments over the past few months. The question is, how does the NBA rectify it and punish players who put their franchises in such a position?
It's clear that the NBA is a player's league and that the players are empowered to the point where they hold all of the leverage in situations such as the A.D. drama in New Orleans.
However, Kerr is right -- this can't become a regular occurrence in the NBA moving forward. It'll just lead to too many players not honoring the contracts they signed with teams, which will lead to stalemates.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently called this trend of trade demands ',' and says there is work to do in regards to free agency. If this continues to be a trend in the league during the 2020-21 season, Silver will have no choice but to work on rectifying the issue before it truly starts plaguing the league.
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