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Rumor: NBA free agents already agreeing to deals


BRAZIL - 2019/05/30: In this photo illustration a National Basketball Association (NBA) logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

LightRocket via Getty Images

The NBA ostensibly cracked down tampering.

How is that going?

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

I have already heard of a deal that’s been agreed to. Who knows whether it’s true or not?

Bobby Marks of ESPN:

I had one agent – because I was talking about his free agent and salary projections, right? And he said, “Hey, you’re really low. I’ve already got two offers from two different teams.”

Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports:

Agents try to present their clients as being in high demand. Just because an agent is claiming big offers doesn’t mean teams actually made those offers.

But teams also have long history of negotiating deals in advance of free agency officially opening. There’s minimal faith in the new tampering rules getting followed.

This year presents unique complications, some of which encourage getting a head start (the offseason will be rushed) and discourage getting a head start (it’s unclear where the salary cap will land).

I don’t know why the NBA doesn’t just permit teams and players to start negotiating now. The season is over. No team’s chemistry is getting undermined while games are going. Everyone will be scrambling to get deals and report to training camp. All sides should have the understanding that contracts can’t yet be finalized, especially because the salary-cap determination could change the landscape. But why not allow amore time for talks?

At least everyone, whether or not they want to follow rarely enforced rules, would be in the same boat.