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Report: NBA teams proposing players who request trade lose salary after getting dealt

76ers star Ben Simmons

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 14: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers stretches prior to a game against the Atlanta Hawks during Round 2, Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs on June 14, 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

76ers star Ben Simmons is hardly the first NBA player to request a trade.

But his holdout with four years remaining on his super-max contract extension might be a tipping point as a new Collective Bargaining Agreement looms.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report:

team officials have recently discussed the possibility of introducing monetary repercussions for players who ask out, sources told B/R.
Proposals have varied, but they largely center on something that would be a reverse trade kicker of sorts, where players can receive a maximum bonus of 15 percent of their salary if a team decides to move them. Some team officials want to see a player who requests a trade forfeit upwards of 70 percent of his salary. Others have told B/R about what seems like a far more realistic scenario, where the player in question would only make 60 percent of his guaranteed money once he requests a new team.

How would it be determined who requested a trade? There are varying degrees of trade requests.

Anthony Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans. But once they kept him past the trade deadline, he wanted to play for them while they wanted to sit him. New Orleans dealt him the next offseason.

Paul George told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency once his contract ended the next year. Though he didn’t explicitly request a trade, that was transparently an attempt to induce a trade.

Kristaps Porzingis reportedly wanted the Mavericks to trade him but never outright requested it.

Josh Richardson encouraged the 76ers to trade him.

J.R. Smith was asked by a reporter whether he wanted the Cavaliers to trade him and said yes.

Trey Burke distanced himself from his father pushing online for the 76ers to trade the guard.

Benchwarmers request trades all the time. Teams often try to comply, not wanting to hold a player hostage when he isn’t earning minutes. Though there usually isn’t a market, sometimes there is.

Eric Bledsoe requested a trade from the Suns after they sat him while healthy while tanking. Though trade requests are often framed as antithetical to the spirit of the game, sometimes a player is trying to leave a team that is undercutting healthy competition.

Even the Simmons situation has complexities. Though Daryl Morey said the 76ers weren’t looking to trade Simmons, they already tried to trade him once and certainly appeared interested in trading him this offseason.

Which of those situations would count as trade requests that result in a player having his salary reduced?

Perhaps, this new rule will apply to all super-max players who get traded, regardless of whether or not they request it. But that doesn’t seem fair to the player who re-signs for the super-max over other appealing offers elsewhere then gets traded against his wishes. Perhaps, if this rule existed, that player would have just left his original team in the first place. Beware of unintended consequences.

Yet another obstacle: The players’ union obviously wouldn’t accept this rule without concessions elsewhere in the CBA. It’s unclear what owners would offer.

Though it’s easy for teams to want a rule like this, it’s more difficult to make the necessary tradeoff with the union to get approval. It’s even more difficult to write the rule in an implementable way that won’t backfire.