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Report: Negotiations ‘well underway’ before NBA free agency officially begins

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry and Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball

TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 23: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors passes the ball against Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Amalie Arena on December 23, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. 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 Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

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In 2019, the NBA stated an intent to crack down on tampering.

The league didn’t really enforce that last year. Apparently not this year, either.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Free agency doesn’t technically start until Aug. 2, but in talking to league executives and agents, it’s clear negotiations are already well underway.

There’s no real harm in teams and players negotiating early. The season is over. Nobody is getting distracted while focused on basketball games.

But when the rules and enforcement don’t match, it leads to arbitrary crackdowns.

The NBA should implement fair rules that will actually be followed then enforce them.