On Monday, word emerged that the Cavaliers and Pistons were both sidelining two of their most prominent players, as Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin were going to not play again until the teams could work out trades to send each to new teams — or the deadline came and went and buyouts would likely be negotiated.
As many pointed out, it seemed strange that the league would allow for that when teams have been told their best players have to play in games unless there’s a medical reason or else be fined, and players who have requested a trade publicly have been fined as well. The Warriors met the Cavs on Monday and Drummond was there in street clothes courtside to watch Golden State run away with a 129-98 win. After the game, Draymond Green took his time in the postgame interview to blast the NBA for the “bullsh*t” double standard that exists when teams want to trade a player compared to when a player wants to be traded.
Draymond calls out the NBA's double standard for players who request a trade vs. teams who sit a player in order to trade them pic.twitter.com/nKcbKvA2MM
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 16, 2021
Green notes that James Harden was lambasted for how he “dogged it” while looking for a trade out of Houston and that Anthony Davis got fined $100,000 for his trade request two years ago, but the Pistons and Cavaliers will be allowed to sit Griffin and Drummond with no penalty. His issue isn’t just with the lack of equal punishment or treatment, but with how those players are asked to continue being professionals in such a situation and show up to games to watch, noting the toll that can take emotionally and mentally on a player.
It’s a more than fair point from Green, and it’s clearly something he’s thought about coming into Monday’s game, where seeing Drummond seated in street clothes obviously brought these thoughts to the surface. Each situation is different and, particularly with the Pistons-Griffin situation, it seemed to be a mutual decision at the least, but it’s a fair question to be raised as to why it seems the rules are different when a team wants to do this and, at the very least, why the public perception is so warped to see this as understandable from a team while a player seeking a way out is so routinely called unprofessional and unacceptable.