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Adam Silver on Tampering, Trade Demands After Busy NBA Free Agency

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The NBA commissioner addressed some key issues that the league is focused on.

2019 Board of Governors Presser Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA announced two rule changes after its annual Board of Governors meeting at NBA Summer League: the implementation of a coach’s challenge and expanded Replay Center capabilities. But the league is also focused on two other issues that have become apparent during NBA free agency: tampering and trade demands. Commissioner Adam Silver called out those two topics specifically in a press conference after the meeting (via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps):

“My sense in the room today was, especially when it comes to free agency and the rules around it, that we’ve got work to do.”

In regards to tampering, Silver said the NBA shouldn’t have rules that it can’t enforce:

“I think the consensus at both our committee meetings and the board meeting was that we need to revisit and reset those rules, that some of the rules we have in place may not make sense,” Silver said. “I think that’s what we discussed. I think it’s pointless at the end of the day to have rules that we can’t enforce. I think it hurts the perception of integrity around the league if people say, ‘Well, you have that rule and it’s obvious that teams aren’t fully complying, so why do you have it?’”

Silver is also focused on the meaning of a contract between players and teams, and how trade demands have gone around contracts being fulfilled:

“First of all, you know, of course that’s nothing new in the league in terms of trade demands. But it concerns all of us,” he said. “I mean, it falls in the same category of issues of the so-called rule of law within a sports league. You have a contract and it needs to be meaningful on both sides. On one hand, there’s an expectation if you have a contract and it’s guaranteed that the team is going to meet the terms of the contract, and the expectation on the other side is the player is going to meet the terms of the contract.”

You can read more on Silver’s press conference here.