Kawhi Leonard, the #8ManRotation, and the #NBASummerLeague

by Matthew Stollak on Friday, July 5, 2019

Bringing the blog out from the mothballs for a couple of reasons.

First, check out this clip of the NBA whisperer, Adrian Wojnarowski chatting with Scott Van Pelt about the free agency status of the mercurial Kawhi Leonard.  As of this writing, Kawhi still has not signed with an NBA team.

Why should you, the intrepid HR professional care about this story?  As always, it covers everything that is the apotheosis of the #8ManRotation - the intersection of sports and HR.  Recruiting.  Talent. Compensation.  Decision-making. Opportunity cost.

Here we have three franchises competing for one of the top five players in their field.  Like any organization, they are trying to figure out what is going to attract him to come to their business over a competitor. 

Complicating matters is the presence of the salary cap, the collective bargaining agreement, and the start of free agency.  Kawhi Leonard can only receive the maximum, hence the three finalists for his services (Toronto, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Clippers), cannot outbid each other for his services.  So, compensation will not be the determining factor.

Further, free agents cannot begin signing contracts until Sunday, July 7 at 6 pm Eastern.  Each of the three teams involved risk missing out on other available top talent by waiting on Kawhi to make his decision.  The opportunity cost of waiting is huge.

Which brings us to the second reason for the post - the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas begins TODAY! For the past nine years, members of the 8 Man Rotation (Steve Boese, Kris Dunn, Lance Haun, Tim Sackett, and I) have made the trek to watch 9 hours of basketball a day, and opine on the HR implications.  Think I am kidding?  Check out this history of posts:

From Steve Boese:
1. Five quick 'Sports and HR' takes from the NBA Summer League 

2. NBA Summer League Part 1 - The Relative Value of Talent  
3.  Observations from the NBA Summer League 2013

From Kris Dunn:
1. My Week at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Part 1 (featuring Lessons on Talent) 

2. My Week at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Part 2 (featuring Lessons on Talent)
3. My 2016 Vegas Weekend at the NBA Summer League
4. Stuff the Capitalist (aka KD) Likes - The NBA Summer League
5.  My Vegas Weekend with the 8 Man Rotation (featuring How Pro Hoops Misses On Talent...Just Like You 
6.  My Vegas Weekend via Instagram (featuring James Harden and Bro-Packs...)

From Lance Haun:
1. Finding "A" Talent is Overrated

From Tim Sackett:
1. Different Leaders for Different Situations

From Matt Stollak:
1.  Quick Lessons from the 2014 NBA Summer League

2.  Why #HR Should Care About the NBA Summer League 

Look for posts from Steve, KD, Lance, and I in the coming weeks (Tim, as always will be the designated survivor).

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