Report: Teams Concerned NBA Rushing Tampering Rules Changes

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2019

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during the announcement of the The NBA-backed Basketball Africa League (BAL) at the Museum of Black Civilisations in Dakar, on July 30 2019. - The NBA-backed Basketball Africa League (BAL) unveiled host cities Tuesday for its inaugural season, with Kigali, Rwanda, as the named host city for the first semi-final and championship games. Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Lagos, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; Rabat, Morocco and a Tunisian city, Tunis or Monastir, were announced as the sites for BAL regular-season games. The BAL, featuring 12 club teams from across Africa, is set to begin play in March 2020. (Photo by Seyllou / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images)
SEYLLOU/Getty Images

The NBA's proposed rule changes for tampering are reportedly being met with skepticism from people in the league, including some team owners.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, there are some teams that feel the NBA is rushing into the process of trying to change its policies on tampering. 

In a memo sent to all 30 teams on Sept. 13 that was obtained by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, the NBA proposed fines up to $6 million for entering into unauthorized agreements and up to $10 million for tampering. 

Reynolds noted the proposed amounts "reflect the 600 percent increase in league revenue and the 1,100 percent increase in franchise value since the fine ceilings were last touched in 1996."

Wojnarowski and Lowe cited multiple league officials, team owners, general managers and agents who expressed skepticism about how the NBA would go about investigating alleged rules violations. 

One proposed change at the center of the concerns involves "an annual, random auditing of five teams' communications with rival front offices and player agents."

Per Lowe and Brian Windhorst, the NBA opened an investigation in July into the free-agent process this summer when many deals were reportedly agreed to as soon as the moratorium period began on June 30, as well as the apparent partnership between Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to ensure they both ended up with the Los Angeles Clippers. 

The Clippers were fined $50,000 for tampering in May after head coach Doc Rivers compared Leonard to Michael Jordan during an appearance on SportsCenter

Under current NBA rules, the most severe punishments for tampering include fines between $3-6 million, loss of draft picks, suspensions for team personnel or having current or future transactions voided.

The Los Angeles Lakers received the largest tampering fine in NBA history ($500,000) two years ago when general manager Rob Pelinka had impermissible contact with George's agent.

The NBA's board of governors will vote on the new proposals Friday with approval needed from 23 out of 30 teams for the measure to pass.

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