By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The NBA is investigating teams possibly tampering with free agents before the official launch of Free Agency itself. The matter opened upon the timing of reports on discussions and agreements of teams with free agents posted by various outlets before NBA rules actually permit negotiations to take place.
According to ESPN, a tense owners meeting followed the start of the investigation. Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, speaking as the head of the labor committee, mentioned the possible need to revisit the Free Agency rules in the next collective bargaining agreement.
On his part, the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, Marc Lasry, voiced his concern ahead of the 2021 Free Agency and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s availability. The Greek Freak will be a free agent in 2021 if he does not previously extend his contract.
NBA is able to punish teams if the league determines any side is guilty of tampering ahead of June 30 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. However, many owners pointed out the obvious noting that agreements have apparently been made well before the official start of Free Agency. Others went on mentioning that Free Agency practically kicks off from May.
NBA will consider the possibility of allowing teams to talk to free agents immediately or a few days after the end of the NBA Finals or even earlier possibly upon the conclusion of one team’s season, but set some moratorium on making any deal official until after the NBA draft. This way, teams approaching free agents before June 30 will be able to do so openly.