NBA

NBA aware free agency rules not being followed, looking to improve system

The NBA knows that its rules on teams talking to free agents are not being followed, and says it will spend the next few months figuring out a better system.

Commissioner Silver says violating rules 'hurts the perception of integrity around the league'

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the league has work to do to improve its free agency system. (Gerry Broome/The Associated Press)

The NBA knows that its rules on teams talking to free agents are not being followed, and says it will spend the next few months figuring out a better system.

Commissioner Adam Silver, speaking after the league's board of governors meeting Tuesday, says the league is aware "that there have been prior discussions" between teams and free agents.

Silver says "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."

So the next step will be finding ways to improve the process, either by changing some rules or perhaps eliminating some that are outdated.

Teams could begin talking to free agents, per letter of the law, after 6 p.m. Eastern on June 30. Some deals were known to have been agreed upon shortly after that window opened, and a few were known even before that time arrived.

In other matters Tuesday:

  • As expected, the NBA is giving coaches the right to challenge one call per game next season. They may challenge a personal foul charged to their team, a called out-of-bounds violation, a goaltending violation or a basket-interference violation. The league told teams last month that the challenge will be in place on a one-year trial basis pending approval from the board of governors, which has now happened.
  • Instant replay can now be triggered by game officials working in the review centre in Secaucus, New Jersey, without the involvement of the on-court refereeing crew. The replay centre will have the authority to review whether a shot was a 2-pointer or 3-pointer whether or not refs in an arena ask for such a shot to be checked, plus potential shot-clock violations.

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