The NBA is looking to strengthen penalties against “flopping”, the chronic problem of exaggerated theatrics used to draw fouls, and subsequent free throws, during games. The league already has a system of fines for players who are discovered baiting officials into errant whistles. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the league is now exploring in-game penalties as well.
Sources: The NBA’s Competition Committee is discussing potential of in-game penalty for flops that would result in technical foul free throw. Trial is possible at Summer League in July.
While most players and organizations are agnostic towards financial penalties—amounting to thousands of dollars against millions in salary and revenue—giving up points on the scoreboard draws a different level of angst and attention. The league has used free throws as a means of curbing “breakaway foul” infractions (intentionally stopping a fast break opportunity by grabbing or hacking opponents) and flagrant fouls (unnecessarily hard or dangerous fouls).
Flopping is hard to discern. It’s a subjective judgment call. The worry would be more time spent reviewing tape and debating rather than playing the game. But most fans would agree that drawing cheap fouls takes away from the enjoyment of the sport. It’ll be up to the league, and its competition committee, to decide which avenue proves least disruptive.