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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

NBA executives pushing for 1 change to combat tampering?

Adam Silver speaking

Jun 2, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks to media before game one of the 2022 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA may finally be taking action to address their tampering problem beyond just fining Magic Johnson.

The Deseret News’ Sarah Todd wrote this week that several NBA executives she recently spoke to expressed support for moving the start of free agency to before the draft so as to fight tampering. Todd also talked with multiple staffers and executives from the league office, who said they are open to changes as well, preferring a system that is not so blatantly ignored.

The NBA obviously has a rampant leaguewide issue with tampering. Deals are often reported seconds after free agency officially starts, even complex sign-and-trade transactions. Some teams were docked second-round picks last summer for tampering, and now another team could be facing an even steeper penalty this year.

As it stands right now, the draft takes place several days before the start of free agency. Thus, teams drafting off need are doing so based on incomplete information, namely, who will be staying, who will be going, and who will be arriving as a free agent. That creates an incentive to tamper, something that having the draft after the start of free agency might eliminate.

There will never be a solution that eradicates tampering altogether. But by removing one major motive to do so, the NBA may help rein in the problem.

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