Board of Governors approves 3 rule changes with tampering compliance at forefront

OKC Thunder: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. (Photo by Seyllou / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. (Photo by Seyllou / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images) /

At the recent Board of Governors meeting, three key rule changes were approved with compliance and even playing field the focus of the meeting.

The OKC Thunder are keenly aware of tampering problems in the National Basketball Association, particularly after this past offseason. One day General Manager, Sam Presti was signing free agents Alek Burks and Mike Muscala while negotiating with center Nerlens Noel to re-sign. The next day, he was informed by Paul George and his agent he wanted to be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers and he had precious little time to make it happen.

Six days later Paul George (in a deal negotiated in 48 hours) was headed to the LA Clippers, Jerami Grant was traded to the Denver Nuggets and the Russell Westbrook who epitomized everything good about the franchise was reuniting with James Harden in Houston. Burks subsequently elected to not sign with the Thunder when Presti advised of the direction change and his choice to sign or pursue alternative deals.

That’s how quickly the offseason changed and with it the future of the OKC Thunder. Presti walked away from the whirlwind week with an overstuffed draft closet, a potential building block in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and two quality veterans (Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari) who could also garner future draft picks or assets presuming they are traded this season.

Suffice to say, the OKC Thunder may have the tools in place to rebuild but this decision was forced upon them via a blindside and some obvious tampering violations.

The Thunder aren’t the only club balking over events of this July as several other franchises felt the shaft of players and franchises who clearly defied the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulations and specifically tampering.  At Summer League in Vegas this June, several General Managers and Owners on hand at the event made their dissatisfaction known and this led to Silver expediting rule changes for the BOG to approve in their recent meetings.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Addresses Media Following NBA Board of Governors Meetings

Earlier today NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the media following the NBA Board of Governors meetings.

Posted by NBA on Friday, September 20, 2019

Compliance was the word of the day:

Silver addressed the media speaking specifically about increasing compliance with existing rules. Moreover, the Commissioner emphasized why new measures were put in place in order for all 30 teams to feel they are completing on an even playing field.

More from Thunderous Intentions

The main takeaway from the meeting and subsequent press conference is the “stricter package of rule provisions” to enforce compliance was passed unanimously. Clearly tampering was the hot button and the punishments mentioned including fines, suspensions, removal of draft picks or voiding contracts. The latter two items on this list would clearly be the more egregious for a franchise to suffer given billionaire owners being fined up to $10 million dollars isn’t necessarily a deterrent.

Other actionable items Silver mentioned is he can view electronics (although he won’t dive into matters outside League matters) and five arbitrary teams will be audited yearly.

As T.I. noted in our recent article players are part of this process and therefore expected to comply. Granted, the auditing of players will be far more difficult and until a player is fined, suspended or their contract voided it is doubtful there will be widespread faith the system is working.

Notable game changes include a clearer definition of traveling and the “gather” portion of the action. This could end up being one of those rule changes which the officials jump on at season start and becomes less of a focus as the season wears on.

Next. Doc Rivers comments highlight why Clippers should be at the top of NBA tampering investigations. dark

The other main game change is all teams will be required to submit their starting lineups a minimum of 30 minutes prior to tipoff.