I’ve never understood why so many NBA teams are willing to sign and trade their guys. The argument for the sign and trade is that you don’t want to lose a player (asset) for nothing. For instance, Cleveland would rather sign and trade Lebron than lose him for nothing. But sometimes the sign and trade is not a smart move.
The most important thing to consider is what you are getting in return for signing and trading your player. Are you getting a superstar or a has been or just filler that looks good on paper? Let’s just say that Cleveland chose to sign and trade Lebron to the Mavericks for Caron Butler, Eric Dampier’s expiring contract, Roddy B, and a #1 pick. It looks ok on paper for Cleveland as they get an all star in Caron and a young player with a big upside in Roddy B. but when you look closer it makes little sense. Caron only has one year left on his deal and that #1 pick is worthless as is Damp’s contract. (I chose this scenario off the top of my head so if the money doesn’t work out just ignore…trying to make a point here).
Cleveland should tell Lebron if he doesn’t want to play for them then fine go ahead and sign for much less money somewhere else. Call his bluff or watch him take less money. Yes you lose that player for nothing on the surface but you force another team to use their cap space on a free agent therefore they have very limited resources to sign anyone else. This makes the market for the rest of the free agents out there decline as there is one less place to go. And if a few teams refuse to sign and trade then all the teams with lots of cap space use it all up…forcing the rest of the free agents to look for smaller deals.
Why help a player leave your team? Unless you are getting a superstar back in the deal. A good player will not make your team better. It also makes it more difficult for very good teams to get even better. Most very good teams are over the cap and can only use the mid level on free agents. Why help them get stronger?
So Atlanta if Joe Johnson doesn’t want to resign with you then make him walk without a sign and trade.
Cleveland..don’t take back Luol Deng for Lebron? That doesn’t help you at all.
Make Wade, Bosh, Lebron, Joe Johnson, Amare all take smaller deals than what their own team can give them. Those 5 players would suck all the cap space from certain teams and make it much cheaper to sign the 2nd tier guys.