Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said that players forcing trades to get out of contracts is a "real problem" for the NBA. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
July 24 (UPI) -- Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr took issue with Anthony Davis' departure from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers this off-season.
Kerr said Wednesday that players who are not upcoming free agents and force trades to get out of existing contracts, much like Davis' move to the Lakers, is a "real problem" for the NBA.
"I'm talking more about the Anthony Davis situation," Kerr told The Warriors Insider Podcast. "Where a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and says, 'I want to leave.' That's a real problem that the league has to address and that the players have to be careful with.
"When you sign on that dotted line, you owe your effort and your play to that team, to that city, to the fans. And then it's completely your right to leave as a free agent. But if you sign the contract, then you should be bound to that contract."
Davis had one season left on his previous contract with the Pelicans when he demanded a trade to the Lakers. He was moved to the Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks in June.
"If you come to an agreement with the team that, 'Hey, it's probably best for us to part ways,' that's one thing," Kerr said. "But the Davis stuff was really kind of groundbreaking, and hopefully not a trend, because it's bad for the league."
Kerr said that there was a right way to handle the process, citing Lakers star LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant.
"What LeBron did, played out his contract. What Kevin did, both when he arrived at Golden State and when he left. You sign contracts, you play them out and you move on," Kerr said. "That's how it should be done.
"But it's a little disturbing that there has been some action that happens before contracts are up, where teams are sort of held hostage and the league is sort of held hostage. I'm not a big fan of that. That's damaging for everybody."
Davis averaged 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.6 steals per game in 56 contests with the Pelicans last season.