The NBA has seen an increase in player movement over the last decade, whether it is via free agency or trade requests. Stars often team up together on franchises to increase their chances of winning a championship. While amassing talent is generally a good idea, not all of those player-created teams end up working out, as seen with the Brooklyn Nets in recent years. Many people expected the trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden to win a championship, but that evidently didn't happen.
However, it seems as though this trend of player movement could be reversing. Mavericks governor Mark Cuban has recently claimed that players moving from team to team is "happening less", and pointed out that "some of the younger guys" signed long-term extensions with no player options, thus ensuring that they are locked in with their current team for a while. Steve Bulpett of Heavy Sports relayed the news.
There are already NBA followers who get upset when stars exercise their collectively-bargained rights to change teams as a free agent, and it galls even more folks when a player under contract wants out. There is not only the loss of that player, but also the uneasy period between the request and the time a trade is executed (see: Simmons, Ben).
But Mavericks‘ owner Mark Cuban, in a conversation with Heavy Sports here at the NBA2K23 Summer League, stated his belief the situation may actually be improving.
“I think it’s happening less,” Cuban said. “I think some of the old school guys are still in that mode, but the younger guys… I can’t comment on any one player, but you’re seeing some of the younger guys sign extensions with no player options.”
Some examples of players that Mark Cuban is referring to are Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies and Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans. Both players signed five-year extensions with their teams, with no player options. It is clear that both players are committed to their franchises.
Perhaps we will see more stars stay loyal to their teams in the future. While staying loyal to a team does have its disadvantages, winning with the team one was drafted by is generally viewed very favorably by the public. It remains to be seen how player movement in the NBA will continue to evolve, but it is clear that some players are still willing to make long-term commitments to their teams.