The NBA has seen several players force their will against their franchises, refusing to play due to many factors, including criticism from fans and media members, as well as lack of competitiveness on their roster.
It's been a tough couple of years regarding the players and their lack of commitment to their contract. Even though it's good to see some player empowerment, owners will likely take action when the next Collective Bargaining Agreement is discussed.
In recent years, we've seen stars like Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and James Harden forcing a trade. This isn't a good thing for owners, who will try to take care of things when the next CBA is negotiated.
According to ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith (via Yahoo Sports), team's owners are taking note on all of this, getting ready for the next negotiations. They won't give in now that players are doing whatever they want if they don't feel comfortable in their squads.
“The Los Angeles Lakers are an unmitigated disaster. They are a mess. They are going to cost people their livelihoods and in the midst of all of that, players who are getting paid don’t deserve to get paid, but they’ll get their money anyway. That’s why the next round of collective bargaining negotiations between the owners and players … is going to be must-see TV in terms of us talking about it, because these owners are coming for them.”
Smith also explained why the owners should take this approach, calling out players for not doing their job and acting unprofessionally in a top league like the NBA.
“The fact that you got guys taking time off. The fact that you have guys who don’t want to follow rules and regulations, the fact that you got guys who are being lackadaisical at their discretion. Picking when they want to play and how they want to play instead of being committed to doing their job. The owners are coming for them, and I call it down the middle, the way that I see it. Some of these dudes … if the players end up getting the short end of the stick, they would have deserved it, because some of the shenanigans simply can’t be tolerated. It’s bad for the game.”
All these situations will probably lead to some changes in the CBA. Owners want to win and have great players on their roster. If these players can play out their contract, then there's no point in paying a lot of money to players that could simply give up on their team any given day. As Smith said, this would be must-see TV, and perhaps a lockout could happen if his words turn out to be true.