I would allow pick trades before the draft, not during.
But if people want to work out for themselves during the draft, "Hey, you're picking now, and if you pick Player X, I'll give you Player Y" on their own, I wouldn't mind. I just wouldn't want to get into dealing with assigning and tracking traded picks.
0-3 to 4-3. Worst choke in the history of baseball. Enough said.
As a commishioner, I'd feel that my responsibilies before the draft were: - to keep things competitively fair - to make sure all players are aware of the rules (and their impact on their team) - to announce the draft order at least 1 week in advance of the draft
My responsibilities during the draft were: - to collect the money - to keep the draft running smoothly and fairly - to make sure my players have a good time
With those responsibilities in mind, I would make sure that all players were aware of a set of rules similar to this: 1.) No swapping of draft picks will be allowed before owners show up for the draft. Arrangements may be made, agreements set in place, but none will be approved until the draft meeting has begun.
2.) Once the draft meeting has begun, all trades of draft picks (agreed upon by the owners involved) will be public and announced to all owners in attendance. The commish will hear arguments for or against such trades before formally approving/denying them, but his word will be final. The commish's decisions will be based on maintaining a fair league environment (not on which owners can dupe other owners just because they want to be guaranteed of their favorite player being on the board at their spot).
3.) At fifteen minutes before the first team is put on the clock, no more trades will be heard. All trades on the table at this point will be approved or denied by the commish, and the attention of the meeting will be turned to the draft itself. Everybody grab your plate, your lists, your beverage, and find your seat.
4.) In order to keep the draft moving quickly, trade offers (either of unchosen picks, chosen picks/players, etc) should be handled during breaks. Breaks will be tentatively scheduled to occur every five rounds (between 5 and 6, between 10 and 11, etc). All efforts should be made to keep these deals simple, and the commish shall approve or deny them publically. In the best interests of the league and your fellow owners, if it is possible to make these deals after the draft has completed, make an attempt to do so. Breaks will not be extended so that a five-team deal can be worked out just because you didn't get your favorite player in round 3.
5.) During and after the draft, keep in mind that because no official "trade offer" system has been set in place until the rosters are set and the owners are able to use the league site, no trade offer is binding. Verbal (or written) agreements between owners are done on the honor system. The commish shall not be responsible for any deals between the start of the draft process and the finalization of rosters on the league site, except for those which were able to be heard and approved during the draft. If you have a dispute the commish will make every attempt to resolve it as quickly as possible to maintain the fairness of the entire league, not just what you feel is fair. Just because you managed to get Bill to agree to trade half his roster to you right after the draft doesn't mean that it's a done deal. It's a done deal when he accepts the trade offer on the league site, not when he's finishing his sixth beer and trying to pack away all of his research material.
6.) Once the team rosters have been set on the league site, owners have one week to bring forth any greivances. If the rosters were not entered correctly, or a trade which had previously been approved has not been reflected, this needs to be brought to the commish's attention now. Not after Week 4. After this one week time period has elapsed, the league site is considered the official rosters, and all transactions will be performed through that software.
I dunno... maybe kinda windy and kinda anal. But at least everybody will be on the same page and won't have anybody to blame their problems on but themselves.
I agree with Matthias and MTUCache, especially regarding trades during the draft. If the owners were informed of the selection order in advance, there is no reason to slow down the process for everyone on Draft Day.
For approving draft pick trades, there is another option besides commissioner approval, league votes, and unrestricted free trade. Some sites produce “draft slot value” charts for leagues of various sizes. By calculating position players’ projected value above the mean (VAM), the designers of such charts attempt to quantify the value of each pick. These charts serve as guidelines for owners who wish to trade picks. Typically, the first overall pick is valued at 1000, and all subsequent choices are devalued from that number. In last year’s fantasy football draft, I saw the following values for a 14-team league:
#2 – 954 #3 – 703 #4 – 656
Usually, the values decline sharply in the early picks and stabilize more in the second round.
If you designate one chart to use for the league, it can be an objective arbiter of draft pick trades. The rule can state that trades with a difference exceeding a certain value (e.g., 10% of the lesser value) are automatically rejected, and trades with a difference under that value are approved. Include rules about maximum and minimum draft picks per team, if applicable. Finally, write a caveat about how a later pick(s) may not be exchanged for an earlier pick(s) straight-up, regardless of value difference. For example, two players cannot trade pick #56 for #58 without some balancing compensation.
This system is not for everyone. If your owners are not mathematically inclined, or if you allow players to be included in draft pick trades, it will not work. Still, for people who want to take bias and personalities out of pick trading, while still preventing rip-offs, it is a nice option.
Fight racism in our schools. American Indians are people, not mascots.