The NBA needs to remove the “verbal commit” period before the free agents are actually allowed to sign their new contracts. It is a pointless time during the offseason that can really screw with a team’s roster. An example of this would include all of this DeAndre Jordan drama with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks.
For those that may not have heard, the basics for this scenario are that Jordan was originally supposed to sign with the Mavericks when he made a verbal commitment before the July 9th signing period began. But, he then changed his mind the day before the signing period began and decided to re-sign with the Clippers; (if you would like to look further into this situation, there is alot of literature on it on Twitter, and online).
Now, I’m not blaming the Clippers right now, because they did what they could to stay competitive. I am blaming Jordan for not sticking to his word; and the free agency system for being so open like this. When you make a verbal agreement, you SHOULD honor it; (even though it is not mandatory, that is just my belief). Now, since Mark Cuban never re-signed their previous center Tyson Chandler due to the possibility of the Mavericks signing Jordan, now Cuban has to go out and look for another center. And I can assure you, unless Cuban wants to give up ALOT for a quality center, whoever the Mavs get may not be a top of the line player. To fix this problem for the future, the NBA needs to either get rid of the open period before free agents can sign their contracts, or make it shorter.
As you can see from the Jordan scenario, this period of time before free agents actually sign their contracts is very wide open; and with so much time like this, it could lead to a team being without a key position on their roster. Now, if the NBA were to shorten this open period of time to about three or four days, then it would protect teams from losing out on a particular player who just so happens to change their mind after already committing. Also, I know that someone could make the argument of; “You are taking away the player’s time to think and make a decision on where they would like to play.” That is not true, they will still have as much time to make a decision as they want, this new change however will mainly allow there to be an official “pen-to-paper” deal in place when a decision has been made; as well as no extra drama tied to it.