Tampering has long been one of the NBA’s worst-kept secrets, but this summer during free agency, teams and players across the league practically made a mockery of those rules. Mere seconds after the moratorium period opened on June 30, a tsunami of deals were being reported as finalized, removing any lingering doubt that contract negotiations had obviously been going on well in advance of when they were supposed to.
As a reaction, the NBA launched an investigation, and Commissioner Adam Silver announced this month that the league would be issuing sweeping reforms to its current guidelines, warning that violators would be hit with hefty fines, suspensions, and in some cases, even loss of future draft picks.
The new rules now include five random audits per season, which when first reported included the league’s right to confiscate phones and other devices, although Silver has been reluctant to move forward with that provision. Now, according to the new guidelines released on Friday, league officials will in fact not be permitted to confiscate devices.
Additional key points in NBA’s official tampering guidelines sent to teams in memo on Friday:
– League will not confiscate phone/computer during its five random audits.
– New hotline created to allow teams and others with information to anonymously report potential violations. https://t.co/TbSh9URuc4
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 27, 2019
And yes, you read that correctly. There is now a tampering hotline for persons to anonymously report others who they believe may be guilty of tampering. That’s a whole other can of worms, but to their credit, it’s good to see they’re instituting some common sense practices regarding team officials’ ability to publicly praise other players, which is something that’s gotten Magic Johnson in hot water in the past during his time with the Lakers’ front office.
The other provision appears to be a direct reaction to the Kawhi Leonard and Paul George situation this summer, when Kawhi urged George to request a trade from the Thunder, the successful execution of which was a contingency of him agreeing to sign with the Clippers. There’s still an awful lot to sift through with all this, and we’ll have to wait and see how some of it plays out in real-time in the coming season.