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Adam Silver on free agency moratorium: “Is there a better system?”

Adam Silver

Adam Silver


Understandably, Mark Cuban isn’t the biggest fan of the NBA’s free agency moratorium right now — DeAndre Joran told him he was coming to Dallas, then during that window changed his mind and re-signed with the Clippers. Cuban is ticked, and he’s got issues with the system.

Cuban isn’t alone, there are other teams around the league who have concerns about the system — there were a lot of dominoes that fell based on Jordan’s verbal commitment.

The NBA’s competition committee, and after them the owners, are going to take a look at adjusting the moratorium. But getting something done is not that simple. Here is what Adam Silver said on NBA TV from Summer League (hat tip Eye on Basketball for the transcription).

But on the other hand people have to remember one of the reasons for the moratorium was it used to be a guy could go from being a player under contract to all of a sudden at 12:01 signing with a new team. And people would say, ‘How in the world would that happen if he had been under contract and wasn’t supposed to be talking to other teams?’ So everyone agreed we needed a period of time in which more than either the player’s existing team or some team that somehow miraculously had had a conversation with him without having it directly -- you needed an opportunity where other teams would have a chance to talk to that player. And now, what happened in this case was, of course, his own team -- and I don’t know what the facts there are, and I’m sure we’ll ultimately spend more time looking into it, but at least as reported, DeAndre Jordan, through the moratorium period, reached out -- that’s the report at least -- and had second thoughts about leaving.

I will say it’s an imperfect system, there’s no question about it. The question is, ‘Is there a better system?’ And that’s something that the league office, and in discussion with our owners, we’re always looking to do things better. It so happens we have an owners’ meeting here in Las Vegas on Tuesday, we have a competition committee [Monday]. And there’s no doubt we’ll spend time talking about it to see just that, if there’s a better way. And on top of that, it also is part of our collective bargaining agreement as well. So even if we say, ‘Yeah, here’s a better way of doing it,’ we can’t unilaterally change it. It has to be changed through a collective bargaining process.

Silver said he has talked to Cuban and he understood the system, that nothing was binding.

All they have to do to change it is get the majority of GMs to agree, then get the owners to agree, then get the players union to agree.

Good luck with that.