The life of an NBA player can be extremely taxing. Oftentimes, teams will make transactions and trades in order to improve their teams. As a result, players are often made to move to a whole new environment with almost no notice.
Most star players have the leverage of demanding a trade away from their current system, so they know what they're getting themselves into. But players who serve a role on any team are used as makeweights in order to make sure the salaries match in the deal.
Kyle Kuzma spoke recently about his trade to Washington, noting that he was surprised because he was under the impression he was heading to Sacramento in exchange for Buddy Hield.
Trade negotiations are notoriously difficult, which is why most trades take weeks beyond the first date of reporting to be completed. The negative side effect of that is players having to cope with their future becoming unresolved as a result of this.
That is exactly what happened to Denver Nuggets guard Austin Rivers recently. Rivers, who has been in the NBA for quite some time now, read the news about Lakers rookie Austin Reaves receiving a new 2-way contract.
Because of how similar their names are, Rivers thought that he had been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I had to read this sh*t twice. I thought I was gonna have to pack again. SMH.”
For these players, it can be very difficult to hear about themselves being traded. Especially because the team's front office isn't keeping them in the loop about it. But at the same time, it can present an opportunity for reinvention and redemption for players who have struggled in their present environment.
But Rivers, who had actually found a solid home in Denver, the idea of going back to Los Angeles was a little bit frightening. Luckily for him, he gets to stay in Denver and continue playing for a team that has shown a lot of faith in him.