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Ben Simmons and the myth of player empowerment

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Article Summary:

NBA owners did not lock out players twice in order to ensure that players receive high salaries.

Under the terms of the salary cap, in most circumstances where a superstar player is traded, that player’s salary must be matched, approximately, by the salaries of players on the other side of the trade, and here is where the myth of ‘player empowerment’ runs aground. To the extent that ‘player empowerment’ becomes the de facto way in which we speak of players demanding trades, we are essentially papering over the fact that the average NBA player still has little to no control over his career when he’s under contract. No matter how much money an owner is willing to spend on luxury taxes, a player cannot simply choose to play for a particular team as a free agent.

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