Thursday , Feb , 19 , 2009 Oly Sandor

What the trade deadline dud of 2008-09 means for the NBA

The words of the former president explain why trade deadline day was a bigger bust than Joaquin Phoenix’s rap career. Instead of creating volatility, moves, and action, the poor economy prevented those much-hyped blockbusters from materializing. When finances are in doubt, NBA teams become like you and me -they hunker down and avoid risk. So Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer,Vince Carter, Baron Davis, Tracy McGrady, Shaquille O’Neal, Amar’e Stoudemire, and countless others aren’t changing addresses ….


What the trade deadline dud of 2008-09 means for the NBATo quote Bill Clinton: “it’s the economy stupid”.

The words of the former president explain why trade deadline day was a bigger bust than Joaquin Phoenix’s rap career. Instead of creating volatility, moves, and action, the poor economy prevented those much-hyped blockbusters from materializing.

When finances are in doubt, NBA teams become like you and me –they hunker down and avoid risk. So Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer,Vince Carter, Baron Davis, Tracy McGrady, Shaquille O’Neal, Amar’e Stoudemire, and countless others aren’t changing addresses.

Forget about the disappointment of this year’s deadline. What does the current economic climate mean for future blockbuster trades and free agent hunting?

Best-case scenario revenues flatten. Worst-case scenario revenues fall. Either way, the salary-cap stays even or declines, which kills financial manoeuvring. Less flexibility means less big-ticket trades and mammoth summer signings.

Salary dumps will become common. For example, the biggest deadline trade – New Orleans donating Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City for Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox- was about the bottom line. The Hornets couldn’t afford Chandler; the Thunder could.

Of course, the deal got rescinded and New Orleans is stuck with Chandler’s 12 million dollar salary. Talk about awkward. Expect more fire sales where teams that can’t pay stars give them away.

A league of haves and have-nots is a possibility. Larger markets like Boston, Los Angeles, and New York can collect top talent, exceed the salary cap, and fork over the luxury tax without blinking, while smaller markets with family owners or outdated arenas will struggle. The NBA may regress into the English Premier League where a few big clubs dominate and smaller teams compete for scraps.

Clubs will move. Charlotte and Memphis were shaky before the downturn and could bolt for greener pastures. Hornet owner George Shinn has a nomadic past. And taxpayers can’t justify building the Kings a new arena, so the Maloofs will have to consider their options.

Commissioner Stern maintains the NBA is on solid ground. Today proved otherwise. Change is coming to the business of basketball. Fans should remember President Clinton’s saying when they wonder why. 

What role did the economy play in the trade deadline dud of 2008-09? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe the Blog for more more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of simpson391.