Author Topic: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines  (Read 1246 times)

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NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« on: September 15, 2019, 04:36:54 PM »

Online nickagneta

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https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/27622585/nba-mulling-10m-fine-tampering-per-memo

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The NBA is looking to further crack down on tampering, proposing a new top fine of $10 million for teams conducting the practice, according to a league memo obtained by ESPN.

Other maximum-fine levels could be raised significantly as well, provided the league's board of governors approves the measures Sept. 20.

The league sent a memo to teams Friday detailing the proposed fines. The memo addresses what the league called a "widespread perception that many of the league's rules are being broken on a frequent basis" when it comes to tampering, salary-cap matters and the timing of free-agency discussions.

So the league wants to hit rule breakers where it hurts most: the checkbook. The league wants fines raised in part to reflect the 600% increase in league revenue and the 1,100% increase in franchise value since the fine ceilings were last touched in 1996.

Other proposals that the board of governors will consider:

A requirement that a team report, within 24 hours, any instance of an agent or player representative asking for a benefit that is not allowed under the salary cap or collective bargaining agreement ("unauthorized benefits")

A requirement that teams preserve communications with players and their agents for one year

New channels for teams and team employees to anonymously report rules violations or tampering

Prohibiting players from inducing players under contract to request trades

In addition, teams will have to require its governor, top basketball operations executive and negotiators to certify annually that they did not talk to free agents or their representatives before the league rules allow. And with every player contract signed, each team's governor will have to certify that no unauthorized benefits were offered and no rules were broken.

"It's pointless, at the end of the day, to have rules that we can't enforce," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in July after the board of governors met and talked about ways to adjust that process in an effort to ensure fairness across the league.

Fines for tampering with players or team personnel could go as high as $10 million, double the current limit. If a team enters into an unauthorized deal with a player, it can be fined up to $6 million -- and the player can get hit with a $250,000 fine as well.

Statements or conduct detrimental to the NBA could come with a $5 million fine now, up from the previous ceiling of $1 million. And a rule violation with no specific penalty could merit a $10 million fine, up from $2.5 million -- the amount that Silver fined former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling while banning him for life from the NBA in 2014 after he was found to have made racist remarks.

The league also has other penalties within its reach, such as forfeiture or transfer of draft picks, suspensions, voiding of contracts and prohibiting teams from hiring the person they tampered with.

Silver said in July that changes have to be made to the free-agency process after several deals were clearly struck before the negotiating period started. In theory, teams couldn't talk to free agents before 6 p.m. ET on June 30, which should mean that actually striking deals before then would be impossible.

The NBA has been largely powerless to stop the practice, which has gone on for years and seemed to be particularly out of control this summer. In the first 90 minutes of free agency this summer, at least $1.4 billion in contracts were committed to across the league.


Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2019, 05:40:41 PM »

Online Roy H.

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Is it worth $10 million to sign Kawhi Leonard, or the next superstar free agent?  I'd say yes.

Until the league starts taking away draft picks and voiding contracts, I doubt much will change.
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Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2019, 08:08:49 PM »

Offline celticsclay

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What was most egregious tampering this offseason? Philly with Horford? Us with Kemba? Paul George trade demand?

Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2019, 08:18:12 PM »

Offline SHAQATTACK

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Is it worth $10 million to sign Kawhi Leonard, or the next superstar free agent?  I'd say yes.

Until the league starts taking away draft picks and voiding contracts, I doubt much will change.

yup .....its going to take a punishment that will hurt their social status or feelings as GMs or owners  ....suspension from certain privileges,  certain money scales of NBA profits reduced,   drafting rights penalties,  things that will sting in their social cirlces, or damage their short term team building ....In other words an NBA jail for rule breakers.   

Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2019, 09:10:12 PM »

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I feel like hitting the salary cap of teams is a bigger penalty than monetary fines

Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2019, 10:14:47 PM »

Offline Bobshot

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One thing they can do is open up the FA signing period just after the draft. The present system has a waiting period where everybody cheats. So why have a waiting period?

Another thing they can do is limit the number of max contracts a team can have to two. That will cut into the star hoarding.

As for a couple of stars getting together to form their own team, the league should make it harder for guys to get out of guaranteed contracts. Guarantees should work both ways.

Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2019, 05:03:02 AM »

Offline ederson

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This is supposed to be the reaction to last free agency.

Was anyone officially accused of tampering ? 

The fines and the penalties are worthless if you can't charge anyone

Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2019, 06:08:23 AM »

Offline Celtics4ever

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Quote

    What was most egregious tampering this offseason? Philly with Horford? Us with Kemba? Paul George trade demand?

Rich Paul definitely...

Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2019, 03:56:59 PM »

Offline johnnygreen

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I feel like hitting the salary cap of teams is a bigger penalty than monetary fines

This is a great idea. To take it a step further, the $10M fine should obviously be a one time penalty, but the $10M cap hit should stay on the books for the length of the tampering contract.

Also, the league has to be able to penalize the agents too. If the league can’t fine them monetarily, then they should no longer be able to represent the particular client he tampered with. And if the agent gets caught tampering on 3 separate occasions, then he can no longer represent an NBA player.

Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2019, 04:33:47 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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What is the policy reason behind prohibitions against tampering?

It seems to me that concerns about tampering are really about the results of tampering. 

There have to be more effective, though more difficult to enact, measures to address the results of tampering, which is what this is really about.
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Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2019, 06:16:55 PM »

Online saltlover

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What is the policy reason behind prohibitions against tampering?

It seems to me that concerns about tampering are really about the results of tampering. 

There have to be more effective, though more difficult to enact, measures to address the results of tampering, which is what this is really about.

The point is you can’t undo tampering.  Take Kyrie, for instance.  There is definitely evidence that the Nets, either via explicit instructions to Dinwiddie or through Dinwiddie’s own initiative, tampered with Kyrie.  There is also evidence that Kyrie’s relationship with his team crumbled as the season progressed.  It is too simplistic to say that one caused the other, but it is not to say that they were interrelated.  And as Kyrie’s relationship with the team deteriorated, so did the team’s overall level of play.  That can’t be undone, even if Kyrie ultimately didn’t leave the Celtics or chose a team other than the Nets.

It’s not just about getting a week’s jump on recruiting a player (as we presumably did with Walker), or inducing a player to decline his option when the season was over (Horford).  It’s about getting a player to demand a trade to a specific team, as happened with Davis.
 Sure, the league could block the trade to the Lakers, and potentially even bar him from signing there, but that means the Pelicans get less in a trade from another team in all likelihood, and have a broken relationship with a franchise player.

It does appear they intend to punish results of tampering too, but creating very large fines will limit a lot of it.  The Sixers paid a lot for Horford — would they be willing to pay an extra $10 million to have gotten the jump on negotiations?  Given that he got less than the max, probably not.

Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2019, 07:24:22 AM »

Offline LilRip

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I fail to see how this is enforceable

In terms of punishment, salary cap/MLE/draft pick punishments hurt more than monetary fines.
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Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2019, 07:40:15 AM »

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I fail to see how this is enforceable

In terms of punishment, salary cap/MLE/draft pick punishments hurt more than monetary fines.

Presumably they hope that randomly selecting teams for audits will help enforce that (“Why were you calling this agent who doesn’t represent any of your players in May, but does represent that player you signed in July?”).

And a fine of up to $10 million is substantial.  Salary negotiations frequently break down over that amount of money, so it’s reasonable to believe that would ward off many instances of tampering.  The league always has the right to move draft picks from one team to another, and I doubt they’re getting rid of that, but money talks — second round picks get sold for far less than $10 million, for instance.  They probably can’t impose salary cap penalties without getting union sign off, because that could restrict how much money goes to the players.

Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2019, 11:45:57 AM »

Offline bdm860

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I fail to see how this is enforceable

In terms of punishment, salary cap/MLE/draft pick punishments hurt more than monetary fines.

Presumably they hope that randomly selecting teams for audits will help enforce that (“Why were you calling this agent who doesn’t represent any of your players in May, but does represent that player you signed in July?”).

And a fine of up to $10 million is substantial.  Salary negotiations frequently break down over that amount of money, so it’s reasonable to believe that would ward off many instances of tampering.  The league always has the right to move draft picks from one team to another, and I doubt they’re getting rid of that, but money talks — second round picks get sold for far less than $10 million, for instance.  They probably can’t impose salary cap penalties without getting union sign off, because that could restrict how much money goes to the players.


Why were you calling this agent who doesn’t represent any of your players in May, but does represent that player you signed in July?  Because he also represents a player in the upcoming draft we wanted to schedule a workout with (before draft) or want to talk about joining our summer league team (after draft).

Except for Durant's agent (Rich Kleiman) I think everybody represents several players.  A quick browsing down list of agents on Real GM shows me Philly could call Jason Glushon (Horford) about Dedric Lawson (2019 draft, undrafted).  Boston could call Javon Phillips (Kemba) about Amir Coffey (2019 draft, undrafted), and you could do the same for just about anybody.  And half the agents probably don't need to do this charade because they already have other players on the team (like Lakers could talk to Rich Paul about "LeBron" but then really talk about Anthony Davis).

I feel like anybody who works in the corporate world knows there's some things you just don't talk about over email/text, things you don't want in writing, this will be no different.  Email/text an agent to set up a meeting to talk about one player and then just talk about another.  The NBA is just telling agents/teams to get rid of the smoking guns and cover their tracks (which they probably were already doing pretty well).



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A requirement that a team report, within 24 hours, any instance of an agent or player representative asking for a benefit that is not allowed under the salary cap or collective bargaining agreement ("unauthorized benefits")


Quote
New channels for teams and team employees to anonymously report rules violations or tampering


I just can't see this happening.  Too few agents control too many players.  And since most free agents are only dealing with a few teams, won't be hard to figure out which team snitched, in which case have fun signing another free agent.

If the NBA wants to get rid of tampering, I think the penalties need to go the other way too.  Any agent caught involved in tampering needs to be banned from the league (ok maybe a little harsh, but I'm sure we could come up with something scalable: maybe severe fine for 1st offense, not allowed to sign new clients for 3 years for 2nd offense, 1 year ban for 3rd offense, lifetime ban after that?).

One of the podcasts that came out over the summer (probably Lowe Post) made it sound like most teams tried to play by the rules, but it was the agents pushing it.  Like if you don't discuss the specifics about my player with me now (in June), he's already going to be off the market when free agency starts.

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Re: NBA proposes changing tampering rules and fines
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2019, 12:05:29 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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The real issue is that teams want to have more power to retain their own players for a price they like.  They want to get back some of the negotiating leverage they used to have over their own players.


That's understandable and reasonable for teams and owners to want.  It also makes sense that players and agents have been working hard to leverage technology and a more loose / relaxed / friendly culture among the players to get around that.


The question is what the league and the players will do the next time there's a CBA negotiation.


Fines, penalties, reporting rules, etc -- all this stuff is fine but it's not going to undo the fundamental shift that is the real impetus behind this outcry about tampering.
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