We live in a world where the NBA is the envy of the other major sports leagues. The season is always exciting, the playoffs are usually a must-watch, and the offseason has more drama than someone’s life after they hook up with a Kardashian. Yet for some reason, the NBA has decided to move up the trade deadline, and change an otherwise flawless process.
Many people don’t love NBA All Star Weekend. The celebrity game’s biggest name was the dude who sang “Honey I’m Good”, the dunk contest has been an absolute snooze fest ever since they changed up the format, and for some reason, everyone who has ever wanted low scoring basketball comes out of the woodwork and complains about the effort from the players are are probably pissed they don’t get the extra day off from work. That’s all fine, because the excitement doesn’t come on the court, it comes from the front offices across the league.
All Star Weekend signifies the middle point of the season, but most importantly, it means the trade deadline is just days away. Fans spend the entire weekend using the actual events as background noise as they sift through rumor after rumor, wondering what disgruntled superstar is on the way out this season. That is, until the NBA moved it up for this upcoming season.
Sources: NBA has approved change to its trade deadline for 2017-18 season to the second Thursday (Feb. 8, 2018) before All-Star weekend.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 12, 2017
Sources: Board of Governors voted at meeting Tuesday, and NBA teams were informed today. Trade deadline effectively set before All-Star. https://t.co/nVcUcYZ1uG
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 12, 2017
With this move, the deadline is moved from the last Thursday of the month to the second Thursday, or for all of you people who don’t understand the Gregorian calendar; two weeks. Have you ever heard of the phrase “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”? The NBA just took a jackhammer to the schedule.
It’s hard to imagine why the NBA would move the trade deadline forward. Most major sports leagues put their deadline following their mid-season All Star activities, aside from the NFL who are way too busy trying to get over 100 people to watch the Pro Bowl to move the date around. According to some, it would give teams a better chance to shape their roster.
The NBA also approved moving the trade deadline to 10 days prior to the All-Star Game allowing “teams will be able to settle their rosters”
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) July 12, 2017
What does that even mean? Do teams need to give newly acquired players evacuation routes out of the arena incase a mid-February natural disaster hits? There is truly no difference when it comes to “settling” a roster. Whether you move the trade deadline up two weeks or two months, teams are going to have to adjust to the new rotation, while those newly acquired players will have to learn a new playbook while quickly creating chemistry with the players around them. Fourteen days does not change the fact that there’s change. Adjustments are made regardless of when the trade occurs.
Since you have to get used to the newly acquired player no matter when you trade for him, it has no effect on the team. If anything, this move just makes it more difficult for teams to make trades. While two less weeks isn’t exactly a much smaller window, it’s about six less games before you have to make a deal. Take the Pelicans for example, who traded for DeMarcus Cousins at the All Star Break. The team went 2-4 in the first six games Cousins played for New Orleans, and then 3-3 in the next six games. Does moving the deadline essentially six games earlier really make a difference? No matter what, the team has to get used to the dynamic, and will likely go through a few bumps in the road. It’s not like teams are hosting full practices during All Star Weekend anyway. The change does not exist.
Another rumor for the schedule shift is because of Cousins himself. Instead of focusing on the All Star game and the weekend’s festivities themselves, people were focused on Cousins getting shipped away from Sacramento.
The NBA is moving the trade deadline before the All-Star Game to avoid another DeMarcus Cousins scenario.https://t.co/BIPVJUlU10
— SB Nation (@SBNation) July 12, 2017
Look if ratings are that bad, you have to do something else to fix them. Give home court advantage in the NBA Finals to the winner of the game like the MLB used to do so players actually try hard on defense. Make Justin Bieber perform at halftime so you can add a million viewers out of your focus group. Convince Russell Westbrook to give Kevin Durant a Stone Cold Stunner at half court during the game, who cares. Figure it out a different way. Just don’t take the best buildup weekend of the NBA season away because no one wants to see Glen Robinson III win a Dunk Contest.
A trade deadline change like this will actually take away videos like the one of Cousins finding out he got traded, one of the best of the whole year.
It doesn’t matter when you move the deadline to, videos like this will forever be better than anything one of those crooked judges grades as a 10 over the weekend.
This shift just makes the second half of the season more boring. The All Star Break hangover fans usually have is immediately cured by rumors flying around the league. It brings more eyes on the players who are rumored to be traded, and eventually, the players who find themselves on new franchises. Now what is there to look forward to after the break? The new players are already snug in their new jerseys for weeks. It’s just one less thing to look forward to, as the second half of the season is now bound to feel like it’s dragging on even more than usual.
Trades in the NBA will always be exciting, it’s just a fact. Whether Kevin Love or Carmelo Anthony get traded this offseason, the first week of the season or at the new and unimproved trade deadline, people are going to go nuts. Still, it doesn’t make sense to move anything around at all. Fans have enjoyed trades and rumors more than ever before. Moving it past the deadline just takes the fun out of it. Now instead of waiting for the next bomb from Woj or Shams after the break, fans are just going to have to turn off Twitter notifications, and watch a borderline meaningless February basketball game.