Recently Kevin Durant, the Forward for the Brooklyn Nets demanded a trade from his team just moments after the NBA offseason began. This marked the failure of a super team that was assembled with Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Durant. Lots of potential yet nothing to show for it. However, Durant demanded a trade, and immediately, Sean Marks, the General Manager for the Nets began to look for viable trade partners to facilitate his demands.
This has given rise to a question, Should NFL GMs take a page out of how NBA teams work and give in to the trade demands of the players? Take a look at the visible differences between the NBA and the NFL in terms of trades, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and big names in the league get their way, the very first indication that they are dissatisfied with their situation and their teams begin to look for viable trade partners.
“NFL Trade demands are met with a shrug”: Analyst points out the significant differences between the NFL and the NBA in terms of trade requests
Let us consider other players in the NBA such as Ben Simmons, he sat out the entire season last year citing mental health issues, he was on the Philadelphia 76ers for a significant portion of the season, and he was adamant that he wanted to be traded and get off the team. The 76ers played hardball with him as they wanted to get him back on the court, they did fine him for his absence but they did give in to his trade demands.
Compare this to the NFL where players who want to get off their team and have sworn to not take a snap for their current team are stuck and despite how hard they play, the teams refuse to trade them unless that they want to. Baker Mayfield, the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns has been demanding a trade for the past 3 months, but the team is not budging unless it gets its way. The Browns were willing to trade him away to any team willing to undertake his salary cap but no team wanted any part of that. The team has finally now understood that their demands will not be met by any team and they have agreed to take up half of his salary cap but Baker still remains a Brown.
The same happened to Deebo Samuel, he wanted to get off the San Francisco 49ers as he was not getting paid and nor did the team draw up plays that suited his strengths but his demand for a trade eventually fell apart and Deebo is still a 49er, his heart may not be completely in the team but he does not have any other option. Players are relatively powerless in the NFL if we were to compare it to the NBA.
That applies to every league if you look deeper, the top names are the ones that attract the most viewership and fans pay to watch them so team owners have to give in to their demands. However, in the NBA, players do have a bit too much power, just look at Kyrie Irving, he sat out for half of the regular season last year despite being perfectly healthy but he refused to follow the vaccine mandate. Any NFL player in his position would have been heavily criticized, look at the reaction when Aaron Rodgers faked his immunization, Antonio Brown got a fake vaccine card, and so on. The list does not end there.
Kirk Cousins refused to take the vaccine but still played, Cole Beasley did the same, Montez Sweat and Cam Newton all did not get vaxxed but played. Imagine if they decided to put out as Kyrie did. Granted, the NFL did not have as strict of a policy of not letting unvaxxed players play but they did make them undergo regular tests and had a lot more procedures involved for them.
In my opinion, pay is not the issue, if you want to talk about pay, women’s sports and the WNBA needs to ensure more pay but the NBA has shown over and over again that it cares a lot more about its players.
Makes sense as it is harder to convince anyone on a 12-man team to stay on and play. You cannot hope to allow them to sit and still have a good season but in the NFL, it is a 52-man roster, and every player there knows they can be replaced within the snap of a finger. Since NBA players know they have more leverage in that matter, they get their demands fulfilled.
What are your thoughts on the significant differences between the way players are treated in the NFL and the NBA? Let us know!
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