Rockets general manager Daryl Morey proposes loosening NBA trade rules


BOSTON – The NBA has some seemingly arbitrary rules on conditional contracts and trades. For example:

Teams can’t tie an option to incentives. Teams can tie guaranteed money to incentives.

Teams can’t protect traded draft picks based on how a player dealt for it performs. Teams can protect traded draft picks based on where the pick falls in the draft.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told Adam Silver he’d like to see some of those rules change.

I actually brought it up with the commissioner, and he thought it was int – but there’s some practical reasons why the league won’t allow that, even though I think there might be a way to overcome them,” Morey said. “I think that could allow teams to not ever have fear. Like if that Harden trade had, oh, if he becomes an All-Star, you have to send yet another future first-round pick. Or if he fails, we get back a pick. I think that would grease a lot of deals.”

Warriors general manager Bob Myers proposed the NBA follow baseball’s lead in allowing a team trading a player to continue to pay a portion of a player’s salary while he plays for a new team. Currently, teams can add just up to $3.3 million to trades in a season and receive just up to $3.3 million in trades in a season. Both amounts increase by $100,00 annually.

“The NBA, more than any other league I know for us, is most restricted,” Myers said.

With fewer draft picks and smaller rosters, the NBA might run into complications with conditional trades, player-to-be-named-later deals, unstandardized contracts or any other changes allowed.

But shouldn’t it be up to teams to manage those issues for themselves?