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RUMOR: Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving sagas could have long-term effects on NBA

Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, NBA, Sixers, Nets, Adam Silver

Kyrie Irving’s vaccine refusal and Ben Simmons’ desire to be traded could play a major role in rule changes in the NBA as the league’s next round of collective bargaining negotiations approach.

Per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, there is growing frustration on the lack of a vaccination mandate for players:

“There was never any confidence in league circles that the union would agree to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Both NBA and NBPA officials are quick to point out the overwhelming majority of players have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Yet team management and ownership figures across the league have voiced frustration about double standards for players like Irving, whom the NBA does not require to be vaccinated. Meanwhile, the league does require basketball and business operations staffers to be vaccinated, and they are subject to close contact with unvaccinated players.”

As for the Simmons situation, there are numerous figures across the league that want a rule changed in regards to a player asking for a trade despite having a boatload of money left on their current deal. For example, the Sixers star signed a five-year, $170 million extension in July 2019 and just two years later, he’s requesting a trade:

“There’s gotta be some kind of penalty or fine,” said one assistant GM, via B/R. “These guys sign the supermax and they want to get traded the next day.”

“It is the new trick of the trade,” said one longtime agent.

Evidently, it looks like there could be some changes coming. A reverse trade kicker is expected to be a possibility, among other potential financial penalties for players who ask for trades right after signing a big new deal. There could also be changes to the supermax contract.

In a nutshell, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons could very well be reshaping how the NBA and NBPA go about their business now.