The Roar
The Roar


Why the NBL should introduce player trading

Casper Ware of United passes the ball away from Melo Trimble of the Taipans during the round 18 NBL match between Melbourne United and the Cairns Taipans at Hisense Arena on February 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Burgoyne new author
Roar Rookie
22nd March, 2019

Through various other basketball leagues worldwide, apart from thrilling games and stellar performances, a very attention-grabbing aspect of the basketball world is player trading.

People are always excited to see how teams are bonding and the changes that teams make to keep their rosters in order.

Many things affect team chemistry, but a major impact can be trading players, constantly having new teammates and on the other perspective having to adapt to new teams/cities and players. As a fan, nothing keeps us closer to the sport then the sensation of maybe losing your favourite player to your least favourite team, or maybe just about the opposite.

The sense of unknowingness keeps you feeling like you are on the edge, just wanting to go out there and do everything yourself but knowing you can’t do a single thing. Sometimes it gives you the most unsettling feeling, but it always keeps you excited and dedicated to what the trading future holds.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the best basketball league worldwide and throughout the whole trade period of the year (whole year round except the second half of the NBA season) players are moving around the league finding the best fit for them and also keeping fans and experts intrigued.

Some people consider the best part of the NBA season is right at the end of the trade deadline, the part of the year where the playoffs are closing in and every team wants to try and add the best new feature to their teams to improve their odds for the playoffs that season or maybe even the next few seasons.

It attracts more people into understanding what is happening behind the scenes and it also raises the standard of basketball as players that have found and settled into a good team don’t want to be traded away for some other player(s).

In the past few years of the NBL seasons, there has been a big spike in the number of imports (international players) to each team. This results in higher competition but also drags down many teams because they haven’t imported people that mix well with the team or don’t suit a certain play-styles, and there is nothing a franchise can do about it as they can’t trade away any players because it is against the NBL rules.

Bryce Cotton drives on Casper Ware

(AAP Image/Hamish Blair)


Allowing trading would not only boost the standards of the league to an aspired position of being one of the best basketball leagues worldwide, but it would also make the players a lot happier, playing in teams where they want to be and being able to say they feel secure while playing this high-level basketball.

Over the past few years, this same question has been asked and the responses have been that the NBL can’t allow trading because the league doesn’t have the financial stability to allow players to move from team to team and to be able to buy out contracts when someone gets traded.

Another reason has been that families don’t have the money or the right ‘situation’ to be able to move cities, especially with younger players such as Isaiah Lee and Kyle Bowen who are finishing school but playing for the Perth Wildcats, moving would put them in a situation too sticky to get out of.

Although these are the reasons behind the NBL, researchers have said that if NBL trading was allowed then the financial status of the NBL would drop significantly before rising all the way back up and beyond where it was previously.

Not only would this be a good move for players and fans but it would also be a good move for the NBL, the only downside would be that there could be a chance that the financial status of the NBL could plummet too far and they would not be able to recover from it, which could be a risk that many people aren’t willing to take.

The ways that the financial status could plummet too far are by if the fan-base does not increase at all and the sponsors aren’t willing to adjust to the NBL’s running needs (money within contract based on how much money flow there is in the NBL), then the NBL won’t be able to stand back up again after facing such a loss.

After the financial status drops significantly and people outside of the league start to make investments and firms are putting thoughts towards sponsorships etc. the financial status will start to grow and grow, to a point where not only are people investing in the league but more fans will start to attend games, more merchandise will be bought and the status will continue to grow beyond its original starting point.

Overall, the NBL’s players deserve to get given the opportunity to play in a league where the playing standard is growing, they get more time and opportunity to find a team that they can feel comfortable playing for. The fan level would increase as more interesting actions/press conferences etc. would take place and in general people would start to pay attention to the NBL all around the world.


Finally, the NBL could benefit from this move massively and in the small chance that is could backfire, more people would be willing to donate or assist in helping out the NBL to become the league that everyone wants it to become.