It’s one of the toughest decisions a general manager has to make: should you trade your star that has an expiring contract and won’t re-sign with you while he still has value, or should you hold onto him and attempt a playoff run?The Dallas Stars must make that decision today with their elite centre, Brad Richards, and the Denver Nuggets deliberated over the decision for months until finally dealing Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks last week.
In the long-term, it makes more sense to deal assets while they still have value. The picks, prospects, and young pieces that can be gained can go a long way towards off-setting the loss of a star.
However, it’s never a popular short-term decision to deal a star. Fan bases don’t want to hear that their team won’t be able to keep their favourite player. It’s an even more difficult decision to make when the team is still in the thick of the playoff race as Dallas currently is. Dealing Richards could be a death blow to the Stars’ playoff hopes, but losing him for nothing could set the team back years.
In recent years, most teams eventually concede and deal their stars while they still have value. However, it’s very important for general managers to find a palatable return, or risk suffering the wrath of fans and media around the world.
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