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ASU Law to host mock NBA trade competition in November

Student-run event is the first of its kind at ASU

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ESPN NBA front office insider Bobby Marks (left) with Kyle Goodier, a 3L student at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Marks will be a judge in ASU Law's NBA Mock Trade Deadline Competition this November. Photo courtesy Kyle Goodier

August 25, 2023

Students with a head for business and a passion for sports will be happy to learn of a first-of-its-kind event being hosted by the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University this November.

The Mock NBA Trade Deadline Competition will take place Nov. 2–4 at the Beus Center for Law and Society in downtown Phoenix. The national competition will involve undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines and across the country, and will allow them to learn what it’s like to work in the front office of an NBA team as they draft players. It’s the first program of its kind to encourage collaboration across analytics, legal, business and scouting in sports.

The ASU Law-hosted competition is the brainchild of Kyle Goodier, a rising 3L in the Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Sports Law and Business (MSLB) programs. Goodier said that students interested in the business of sports have very few opportunities to learn the trade from experts in the field, and this event hopes to bridge that gap.

“There is so much demand for working in a front office,” he said. “Students need to build their network and demonstrate that they can provide value to a team or an agency to get a job. This event is intended to allow students to build that network and show industry executives that they can provide this value.”

A previous, similar competition that was held at Tulane University became one of the largest networking events for the NBA, with coverage in ESPN and The Athletic.

Big names in the NBA and sports worlds have already signed on to be judges for the ASU Law-hosted event, including Bobby Marks from ESPN; Doug Collins, a 50-year NBA veteran and senior advisor for the Chicago Bulls; Eric Pincus from Bleacher Report; and Seth Partnow of StatsBomb.

“I decided to start this competition to provide students with an opportunity to learn front-office operations in a way that provides them feedback from real NBA professionals,” Goodier said. “The goal is for passionate and driven students to leave the event with a better understanding of the NBA, tangible results to share, and a new network of NBA and student contacts.”

Multiple ASU departments have already gotten in on the action, with the Global Sport Institute at ASU signing on as a sponsor.

The student-run event has already surpassed expectations for Aaron Hernandez, assistant dean of the Allan "Bud" Selig Sports Law and Business Program.

“Each year, a student will approach me about their ideas for a competition, clinic or initiative. Each year, I ask them about their plan of execution,” he said. “That’s usually where the conversation stops. Kyle researched the cost, leveraged resources, pitched a major proposal and assembled peers to help execute his vision. I am very proud of Kyle and how he has gotten this off the ground.”

Participants in this event will have to make trading decisions, defend their positions in front of NBA executives and ensure that their trades comply with the NBA regulatory framework. They can also expect to have to hold their own in a room full of sports professionals, with plenty of opportunities for networking with other students and experts. 

“In my opinion, this is one of the more valuable competitions you can participate in if you want to be a general manager or involved in basketball operations,” Hernandez said. 

Registration for the event is now open. 

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