Draft vs. Free Agency

When Monday rolls around, I normally spend some time trying to catch up on the things I missed over the weekend as I don't get online much when I'm at home. This morning I went to the Pistons website and saw their newest article If Pistons go big at 38, no shortage of options. I wasn't too fond of the title honestly.

In the article, it is stated that there's a very good chance that Stan Van Gundy is going to do what he can to possible keep Monroe:

No doubt, they’ve already had those discussions internally. And maybe they’ve decided that their response will be swift and absolute: to match any offer sheet, even the maximum, and keep Monroe.

However, they followed that up with the other possibility that Monroe just might cost too much to the growth of this team:

But maybe they’ve decided there are only so many resources – only so many of the projected $63.2 million salary cap dollars – they can afford to expend at two positions when their perimeter needs a boost. And maybe there’s a tipping point where they decide their most prudent course is to negotiate a sign-and-trade deal with a team of Monroe’s choosing.

So the article continues on talking about if that were to be the case, it might be wise to possibly draft a big man to come in when Drummond or Smith (shudders) sit down. After reading that article, it reminded me of a comment on here from yesterday (that I read this morning):

I think there is certain jealousy at work actually, though that’s an ugly word and might be too harsh – I just get the feeling that Monroe feels pushed aside with Drummond annointed the franchise cornerstone. Monroe is a center at the NBA level and he was pushed out to PF where he doesn’t have the athleticism – that Detroit isn’t putting him in his best position to succeed, and he sacrificed for the team to move and they don’t want to max him out – and not only that, but then Dumars then signs Smith and going forward Smith will not be used at SF and is untradable so Monroe was pushed aside with Drummond came aboard and now will have to share PF with Smoove for the next three years.

The reason why it made me think of that comment is because I do wonder how much the draft determines the players decisions to opt in or opt out, to sign an extension, to test free agency, etc. Then it made me start thinking, "What would the NBA be like if the free agency period started before the draft?"

Say that the draft happens and the best player available is a 6'10" Power Forward/Center. Say that none of the other prospects left are very good perimeter threats and for some reason they're unable to make any trades. So, the Pistons end up picking this player in the hopes that they can either trade them later, stash them overseas, or whatever. However, Monroe doesn't see it this way. Monroe sees Smith, Jerebko, Harrellson, Drummond, Mitchell and now Pick #38. He may actually (doubt it honestly though) feel like he's being squeezed. Maybe he doesn't entertain any offer sheets (again, doubt it) so that he can play out the year, pray he doesn't get injured, raises his value, then moves on to another team.

But what would happen if the draft happened after the free agency period already began?This year the Finals ended on June 15th. What if the free agency period opened on June 23rd and the draft was on July 1st? Obviously the free agency period would still be open during the draft. But I feel that this would make the NBA offseason much more interesting.

Take for instance this was the case this year after the Finals. Chad Ford just released a two round mock draft that says the Cavaliers are likely to select Jabari Parker with the first overall pick (though they are shopping their pick). Parker is expected to be a Small Forward, the same position that LeBron James normally plays. Well, what if in this scenario LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony opted out of their contracts a week before the draft. Well, obviously the Cavs would love to have James back and in the possibility that they did get him back, that may change up the draft board (slightly). Now, instead of taking Parker, they take Wiggins.

By allowing the teams to start free agency before the draft, they could go after the the veteran players to try and fill out their roster and then draft accordingly based on their holes they still have left. I would like to think that this may provide more balanced competition between the teams. The Cavs wouldn't even have to draft Wiggins first overall if they got LeBron in free agency, they could then possibly have an easier time trading their pick back knowing that they now need a SG/PF and knowing SF was covered. It would possibly also change what teams get a chance to work out specific players before the draft.

There may need to be some changes to the CBA in regards to caps, cap holds based on current draft selections, etc. And I know that there are free agents that are already likely talking to teams and may have contracts agreed to in principle. But there are players that don't have to decide whether they're going to opt out until after the draft happens. I think the draft should be used to fill holes as best as possible so that there is fair competition between all teams, and a team landing a top tier free agent may allow them to more easily trade the pick to another team on the rebuild for an asset they need. Obviously, there are no guarantees.

What say you DBB? What scenarios did I not think of? What are the positives and negatives of having the free agency period open before the draft?

FanPosts are user-created posts from the Detroit Bad Boys community and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of all fans or the staff at DBB. The DBB staff reserves the right at any time to edit the contents of FanPosts as they reasonably see fit.

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