After weeks of meeting and ire from players and fans alike, the NBA is planning to implement new rules before the 2021 NBA season to regulate non-basketball moves currently being used to draw fouls, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
NBA referees will be trained to properly officiate the following actions used to draw fouls:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 22, 2021
– Shooter launches/leans into defender at abnormal angle
– Shooter kicks leg at abnormal angle
– Offensive player abruptly veers off path (sideways/ backwards) into defender https://t.co/9OzldXvH6u
While these new rules are not finalized quite yet—they are still pending final approval and deliberation from the Competition Committee and Board of Governors—they are expected to pass.
According to Charania, the league is planning to train officials to identify a specific list of moves —used by superstars like Trae Young and James Harden, among others —that unnaturally initiate contact with the on-ball defender.
These moves include: when a shooter “launches or leans” into their defender at an “abnormal angle,” when they shoot their leg out, or to the side, at an abnormal angle, and when the offensive players abruptly aborts their path (either sideways or backward), intentionally making contact with their defender.
Under the new rule set, these three actions will be called as an offensive foul (if overt and obvious) or simply will be assessed as a no-call (if the action or contact is marginal) — similarly to how, currently, a common shooting foul will be assessed by whether the defenders contact is marginal or more than marginal during the offensive player’s shooting motion.
NBA players will have the summer to adjust to these rules, which will likely be implemented by the Las Vegas Summer League in August.