The league has taken a step toward solving its tampering and cap circumvention issues by passing a stricter package of measures to enforce compliance.
“We do have the power to take people’s devices. That is not something [we are looking] to do,” Commissioner Adam Silver said during a press conference today.
The new proposal, which was unanimously passed, allows the league to randomly audit up to five teams per year and parse through their communication. Silver said that owners “want to know they’re competing on a level playing field.” Penalties of wrongdoing could include suspensions, loss of draft picks, and voiding contracts in addition to fines.
The player movement era has brought on challenges for teams and a bevy of accusations and possible misconduct among players changing uniforms, as I recently detailed on Hoops Rumors. For example, there’s a belief in some circles that Dennis Robinson— Kawhi Leonard’s uncle and advisor— requested benefits that fall outside the salary, per ESPN. This type of behavior was not allowed under the old or new rules, though the league now has the ability to impose harsher penalties for such actions.
While the exact details of the passed proposal haven’t been confirmed, it was previously reported that the teams could face fines up to $10 million under the new proposal (up from $5 million) and unauthorized agreements could result in a fine of up to $6 million for teams and $250,000 for players.
In addition to tampering concerns, the NBA Board of Governors passed a revision of the traveling rules, which now will have a section that defines the “gather” in order to provide clarity on how many steps a player is allowed to take after the “gather” occurs. The rules change will certainly impact many players this upcoming season, though Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press doesn’t believe it will affect James Harden’s step-back 3-pointer.