After much discussion over whether or not the NBA should impose harsher penalties on teams for breaking the anti-tampering rules, an official decision has been made. The NBA Board of Governors passed a much more strict set of rules that will force teams to be compliant with the anti-tampering rules.
The NBA Board of Governors passed a stricter package of measures to enforce compliance with tampering and salary cap circumvention, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 20, 2019
Adam Silver on tampering punishments: "Suspending executives...taking away draft picks....voiding contracts...All those provisions are on the table. The ultimate goal is compliance." Silver says fining teams can often be the least effective avenue to rules compliance.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 20, 2019
Among the new measures, the league will be selecting five teams per year that will undergo a "random audit", the maximum amount for a fine related to tampering has been raised to $10 million and team officials are required to save communications with agents for one full year.
The league will also retain the right to take the communication devices of owners if it is deemed necessary in investigations, though it has been stated that it is not something that Adam Silver wants to rely on moving forward.
NBA team owners today "unanimously" approved empowering the league to more strictly punish tampering, Commissioner Adam Silver announced, but specific details of the much-discussed annual "random audit" of five teams must still be hashed out— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) September 20, 2019
Though concrete details have not been released, possible punishments for tampering will reportedly include taking away draft picks, the voiding of contracts and more.
This is all in an attempt to create a more "even playing field" amid the belief that small-market teams are at a disadvantage when it comes to player movement. The new rules sound great but there is already fear among NBA GMs when it comes to how their privacy will be affected with this being a clear area of focus for the league.
GM's and agents do believe free agency will be impacted. How much? We'll see. But both sides more apprehensive on negotiating/agreeing to deals ahead of June 30 start. One GM said, "I'll follow the rules -- until I find out others aren't and I'm at a competitive disadvantage."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 20, 2019
Along with the new, harsher tampering penalties, the league also announced that they have changed the language regarding traveling calls to "address the uncertainty around traveling." Another new rule announced was that teams are now required to announce their starting lineups at least 30 minutes before tipoff as opposed to 10 minutes, in an effort to "increase transparency for teams, media and fans." Teams will still be allowed to change their lineups up to the last minute if a player gets hurt in pregame warmups.
All of the new anti-tampering rules approved by the league on Friday were a response to this wild NBA offseason we just experienced. There were many deals agreed to right at the start of free agency, such as the Bulls with Thaddeus Young, and the timing of those deals had many owners wanting the league to make tampering a greater focus. To a greater extent, moves like Anthony Davis forcing his way to the Lakers and Kawhi Leonard orchestrating he and Paul George's move to the Clippers are what got this package of anti-tampering measures passed.
Adam Silver has picked up a reputation as an NBA Commissioner who is very willing to listen to new ideas and make changes, and Friday's events support that reputation as he and the league continue to look for the best ways to get NBA teams to be in compliance with the anti-tampering rules.