Tamper At Your Own Risk! NBA Cracks Down on Free Agency with Some New Rules/Repercussions

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Tamper At Your Own Risk! NBA Cracks Down on Free Agency with Some New Rules/Repercussions

Chicago Bulls

The writing was on the wall, and now it’s in the fine print.

After an offseason where some of the game’s biggest players packed their bags for new cities, the league was forced to re-address its tampering policies. Now, thanks to an NBA Board of Governors meeting, there is a new set of guidelines, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The new policy, which was agreed upon unanimously, will offer a new level of severity in punishment to teams found guilty of tampering. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke after the meeting about how the “ultimate goal” is to enforce “compliance” on the part of league executive.

Over recent years, tampering has become more of a “look the other way” topic on behalf of the league, who has done nothing more than wave a finger when discussing it.

Although, we did see an historic shift in player movement, as well as some remarkably quick free agent signings, this offseason. Even with the league moving the free agency start time up several hours into the evening of June 30th, many teams still had their new players under contract unusually fast (i.e. the Nets with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving). And the Bulls were no exception to this with the sudden signing of Thaddeus Young.

Zach Lowe’s recent report about the NBA Board of Governors meeting explains why the league is instituting such a policy. But simply put, teams who tamper have an advantage they shouldn’t have. Heading into bigger offseason benchmarks like the NBA Draft and the rest of free agency with this knowledge can greatly impact a team’s operations.

Lowe’s report also shares the multiple changes that were discussed and now appear to be set in stone. They include:

  • An increase in fines
  • Allow Commissioner to confiscate draft picks
  • An annual random audit of five NBA teams
  • Team officials must save all communication with agents for at least one year.

And, yes, Adam Silver is now allowed to take your cell phone.

If Silver wanted compliance, this sure does sound like the way to do it. Although, agreeing upon new rules and instituting them are two entirely different things.

The rule changes certainly feel like enough to give NBA teams a nice scare, but I think this quote from an anonymous GM says it all:

Tamper at your own risk!

(Photo by Getty Images)

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Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.