The sources said Holiday played with stress fractures in his lower right leg during his final season with the Sixers. However, the sources said, those injures weren't fully disclosed to the Pelicans.
Many wonder how did the Pelicans staff miss making the diagnosis. Honestly, it could be for any number of reasons, but let's start with the obvious one: by the time the New Orleans doctors had a chance to examine Holiday during his physical exam, his injury had largely healed up.
Tibial stress fractures are considered to be low risk stress fractures, and hence, they typically can heal on their own just fine. Normally, a 6-8 week window is the necessary recovery time. When you consider the 2012-13 NBA season ended on April 17th and the Holiday trade was executed during the second week of July, approximately 12 weeks had elapsed.
Yeah, the Pelicans medical staff has a spotty history, but to ask them to find an injury that had most likely healed is asking the impossible, even if they happened to be the vaunted Phoenix Suns.
However, regardless of your stance on this, the issue at heart lies elsewhere. The fact of the matter is the Sixers broke a rule of the collective bargaining agreement regarding trades:
- Health information for all players, including any factors that could affect a player's ability to play basketball at any point in his career. Teams must disclose any relevant health information.
Although a Sixer official disputed the allegation, it's apparent the NBA had plenty of proof as it handed down the 3 million dollar penalty. Interestingly, do you remember how Jrue Holiday finished his 2012-13 campaign? On a really sour note.
After his only All-Star berth to date, Holiday limped to the finish line.
On April 3, 2013, Jrue Holiday had the worst shooting performance since the millennium among players who attempted 20 or more field goal attempts in a game. Many attributed it to him being fatigued from having to carry a rather poor squad on his shoulders the entire season.
Our friends over at Liberty Ballers certainly took notice and many contemplated whether he should have been shut down for the season. Derek correctly stated that the risk for injury may be heightened during fatigue. We'll likely never know specifically when Jrue got hurt, but when combining the fact his play dropped off a cliff and yesterday's statement indicates he played with stress fractures is more than enough for me to draw a solid conclusion.
So should you.
The penalties handed down by N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern follow a ruling Monday by an arbitrator that the Timberwolves had signed a secret agreement in January 1999 with Joe Smith, a star forward, that was worth as much as $86 million over seven years. At the time of the agreement, the team could not afford to pay Smith what he was worth on the open market without breaking the league's salary cap.
As a ruse, N.B.A. officials said, the Timberwolves' managers had informed league officials that they had signed Smith to only a one-year contract for $1.75 million, less than a third of what the 6-foot-10-inch player could have commanded as a free agent. The one-year contract was filed at the league offices in Manhattan, while the long-term agreement was never disclosed, they said.
In addition to the 3.5 million dollar fine, Joe Smith's contract was voided and originally five of the Wolves future first round picks were forfeited (later, the 2003 pick was reinstated).
Now that's an appropriate OUCH!
What Philadelphia did rates right up there with the worst infractions in the history of the NBA, yet it seems like the penalty does not fit the crime. Were this incident to have been tried before a court of law, the outcome would have probably been much different.
In contract law, there are 3 types of misrepresentation. The most serious is fraudulent misrepresentation whereby a party purposefully deceives another about an important detail of a transaction. In circumstances regarding bad faith (such as here), the immediate remedy is recission: rewinding the events and placing all parties in a position they were prior to the contract.
Thus, were this case brought before a civil court, the Pelicans would have likely been awarded Nerlens Noel and all the assets the Sixers acquired in trading Elfrid Payton to the Magic (Dario Saric, 2 future second round draft picks from the Knicks (for trading Guillermo Hernangomez to New York -- the 2015 second round pick that was from Orlando) and most likely a 2017 first round pick.) Naturally, the Sixers would get Jrue back.
Going this route sure seems like the better method of putting the victim (the Pelicans) back in the same position they were before the fraud took place. In a league where the average NBA salary is around 5 million dollars and the Pelicans are on the hook for a total of over 41 million dollars to Jrue Holiday, 3 million dollars doesn't even come close.
It's quite appalling and I don't care for a minute that Holiday's surgery didn't happen until after he was wearing a Pelicans jersey. Dell Demps relied on a promise from the Sixers organization that he had all the necessary information to make a rational decision. General managers have an incredibly tough job to do so one major misstep and years can be lost.
Considering Holiday was expected to become one of the best players for New Orleans for many years to come, likely Anthony Davis' Robin, do you not think Demps might have reconsidered the original deal if he knew he was trading for a 22 year old who developed a leg fracture through the regular course of play?
I do, and at the very least, we should assume Demps wouldn't have paid top dollar.
David is absolutely right that Sam Hinkie and his staff should be treated like nuclear radiation. They intentionally spit in the face of good-faith dealings among NBA franchises. They knowingly withheld key information in order to gain the maximum profit in a trade.
Honestly, though, if 3 million dollars is the extent of the penalty, you can be assured this won't be the last time a general manager tries to pull another fast one. For a man and an organization that has been lauded time and again for rebuilding a team correctly from the ground up, it's time we all start asking what other underhanded dealings lie in Philly's closet.