Freeman team wins first place in national NBA trade competition

Freeman NBA Trade Competition winners

Freeman’s winning team included, left to right, Asher Nissanoff, Cameron Dartez, John Burrows, Max Yazdian and Isaac Popper.

A student team representing the Freeman School took first place honors in the inaugural Arizona State University NBA Mock Trade Deadline Competition. The competition took place Nov. 2–3 in Phoenix.

In winning first place, the Freeman team — Isaac Popper (BSM ’24), Max Yazdian (BSM ’24), Cameron Dartez (BSM ’24), John Burrows (BSM ’25), Asher Nissanoff (BSM ’27) and Nic Rioja (SLA ’24) — topped student teams from more than 30 other universities.

The competition challenged students to take on the role of an NBA general manager and negotiate deals with students representing other franchises. The Freeman student team represented the Los Angeles Lakers and decided their biggest need was a star player to maximize LeBron James’ shrinking title window. The students traded D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura for Kyrie Irving and two first round picks and then traded Taurean Price and two low-value second round picks for Tari Eason.

“The judges really enjoyed hearing about our process,” said Popper, who serves as president of the Tulane Sports Analytics Club. “They thought getting paid to take Kyrie Irving was a great move, and that the Eason deal was tremendous value.”

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