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NBA reminds teams to keep all electronic communications with players, agents

NBA commissioner Adam Silver

SAITAMA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 08: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a press conference prior to the preseason game between Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors at Saitama Super Arena on October 08, 2019 in Saitama, Japan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

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It was part of Adam Silver’s and the NBA’s new “crackdown” on tampering — five random teams will get audited by the NBA at the end of the season. Just to make sure they didn’t break the rules.

This week the NBA sent out a memo to all 30 teams reminding them they need to keep all electronic correspondence between them and players or agents, in case they are one of the teams audited. From Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Shams Charania of The Athletic added details today.

According to the memo, which was obtained by The Athletic, team owners, employees and representatives must preserve the following communications with players and their agents:

• Current or potential future player contracts
• Player transactions
• Potential endorsements, investment, business or other commercial opportunities
• The player’s fit or future with the current or new team...

The NBA informed teams that written, electronic or oral communication (voicemail, notes on phone calls) are required to be preserved.

It would be a surprise if a team is caught tampering this season for two reasons. First, everyone is cautious because the league — at the behest of some smaller market owners who were bothered by last summer’s player movement — is being upfront about cracking down on tampering if they find it.

Second, there are no players available worth the tampering risk. This is a very down free-agent class. Is a team going to tamper to get Andre Drummond or Eric Gordon? No.

Now in 2021 when Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, LeBron James, Rudy Gobert, and other big names are potentially on the market, expect teams to be willing to take risks and bend/break the rules.