09 November 2013

How About a 'Ted Stepien Rule' aka a 'George Chua Rule'

2013 Draft Hopefuls
Lopsided trades and head-scratching deals dominated the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) headlines after the controversial drafting of picks last 3 November 2013. Not many are fond to see one team, Barako Bull, trade away its possible future for notable bench-warmers and third stringers.

There are a few suggestions going around on how to address and prevent this scenario from ever happening again in the league, but none has so far been more feasible than the proposed 'Ted Stepien Rule'.

The rule was put in place in response to Ted Stepien's disastrous run as owner and de facto general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Rule prohibits the trade of first-round picks in successive seasons.

During Stepien's reign, the Cavaliers made a practice of trading future draft picks for marginal veteran players. His most notable deal sent a 1982 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Dan Ford and the 22nd overall pick in 1980. That 1982 pick wound up being the first overall selection, which the Lakers used to select future hall-of-famer James Worthy.

Some other notable players who were selected with picks Stepien traded away:
  • Sam Perkins (1984, 4th overall)
  • Derek Harper (1983, 11th overall)
  • Roy Tarpley (1986, 7th overall)
  • Detlef Schrempf (1985, 8th overall)
  • Dennis Rodman (1986, 27th overall)
Stepien sold the team to George and Gordon Gund after the 1983 season. As part of the deal, the NBA gave the Cavaliers bonus first-round draft picks in 1983 through 1986.

Notably, the 'Ted Stepien Rule' prevented the Knicks from trading their 2011 first-round draft pick, because their 2012 pick was traded to the Houston Rockets as part of the Tracy McGrady deal.

If the PBA adopts the same rule, they can call their own version the 'George Chua Rule'.

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