The NBA’s Board of Governors formally approved a stricter series of rules and measures in an attempt to clamp down on possible tampering and salary-cap circumvention, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The vote was unanimous, with all 30 team governors voting to sign off on the new rules, writes Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.
We detailed the NBA’s anti-tampering proposals in a series of stories over the last week, though Wojnarowski cautions that it’s unclear whether every one of the proposed rules will be implemented immediately. There had been leaguewide apprehension about approving the proposal allowing the league to conduct random team audits each year, Woj notes. Reynolds suggests the specifics still need to be worked out on those audits.
Although teams can now be fined up to $10M in “egregious” instances of tampering, commissioner Adam Silver admitted in a press conference on Friday afternoon that fines can often be the least effective way to ensure compliance with the rules. Silver said that suspending executives, taking away teams’ draft picks and even voiding contracts are all possibilities in the event of a tampering violation, via Woj. Of course, the league would prefer to see teams simply comply with existing rules.
“We need to ensure that we’re creating a culture of compliance in this league,” Silver said, per Reynolds. “Our teams want to know that they’re competing on a level playing field and frankly don’t want to feel disadvantaged if they are adhering to our existing rules.”
General managers and player agents expect free agency to be altered by the NBA’s renewed focus on tampering, and will be more apprehensive about negotiating or agreeing to deals prior to June 30, per Wojnarowski. It remains to be seen exactly how effective the new measures will be, though.
Here’s more on today’s Board of Governors vote, including additional details on the tampering policies and notes on a couple of other league changes: