The Clippers trading Blake Griffin mere months after lauding his significance to the franchise and signing him to a five-year, near-max contract has brought new attention onto no-trade clauses.
Griffin said he didn’t regret not securing one, but will future free agents push harder for a no-trade clause after seeing his case? Do previously signed players now regret not getting one?
Just three players have no-trade clauses (not to be confused with the automatic right to veto trades based on contract status, like Nikola Mirotic had): Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki. A player must have eight years of service, including four with his current team, when signing to get a no-trade clause.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic:
Curry didn’t get a player option, either. I’m not sure how someone who did so much for his franchise – winning consecutive MVPs, leading the team to three straight NBA Finals and two championships, playing without complaint through a team-friendly contract extension, welcoming Kevin Durant, who’d encroach on Curry’s stardom – and projects to provide elite production over the next several years didn’t get every contract term in his favor.
At least there’s a plausible way not having a no-trade clause could benefit Curry. Klay Thompson will become a free agent in 2019, Draymond Green in 2020. As long as they stay with the Warriors, they’ll be eligible for no-trade clauses. It’d be hard for either player to demand one after Curry didn’t get one. Maybe, someday, Golden State deals Thompson and/or Green to improve Curry’s supporting cast.
Or maybe Curry gets dealt.
The Warriors are aggressive about hunting stars. They discussed chasing LeBron in 2016 free agency, just after they blew a 3-1 lead to his Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. Golden State, of course, signed Kevin Durant.
Would the Warriors really hesitate to trade a 33-year-old Curry earning more than $45 million in 2022 if another team offered premium return?
Yes, they probably would.
But they also might still make the deal.