Angered after seeing Cleveland Cavaliers sit Andre Drummond while they try to find a trade partner for their starting center, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors called out NBA teams for having a double standard when it comes to how trades desires are viewed once they become public.
During a three-minute speech, Green pointed out that the Cavaliers are able to sit Drummond with no penalty while they try to trade him, but that if a player like James Harden requests a trade he is vilified and would be fined if he refused to play.
“To watch Andre Drummond … come out in street clothes because a team is going to trade him, it’s shit,” Green said. “Because when James Harden asked for a trade and essentially dogged it — I don’t think no one’s gonna fight that James was dogging it his last days in Houston — but he was castrated for wanting to go to a different team, and everybody destroyed that man. Yet a team can come out and say, ‘Oh, we want to trade a guy,′ and then that guy is to go sit and if he doesn’t stay professional, then he’s a cancer and he’s not good in someone’s locker room and he’s the issue.”
Green certainly has a point that teams do not face the sort of backlash when they make it public a player is on the block that players do when they request a trade. But teams are the ones who are paying out a salary, not the other way around, so the argument could be made that teams have the right to play or not play an athlete as they see fit.
Drummond, who did not publicly request a trade, will remain with the Cavaliers but won’t play until he is dealt. The Detroit Pistons are using the same strategy with Blake Griffin, but could buy him out if they are unable to find a suitable trade for the former All Star.
“At some point, as players, we need to be treated with the same respect and have the same rights that the team can have,” Green continued. “Because as a player, you’re the worst person in the world when you want a different situation. But a team can say they’re trading you, and that man is to stay in shape, he is to stay professional. And if not, his career is on the line. At some point, this league has to protect the players from embarrassment like that.”
Green makes a good argument, but embarrassing as it may be to be used as trade bait, Drummond and Griffin are now making more than $20 million annually to sit on the bench, so it is hard to feel too bad for them.