NBA reportedly investigating tampering following the eventful off-season.
The NBA has reportedly launched an investigation to determine whether teams tampered with free agents before the June 30 free agency period officially began.
A number of free agents announced their decisions almost immediately after they were eligible, which led several owners to think about how the NBA handles the free agency process. According to ESPN's Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst, the league's investigation actually began just days after the NBA's Board of Governors meeting earlier this month.
According to the report, the investigation figures to include interviews with players and possibly agents and team employees.
"The league has the power to punish teams it finds to be guilty of tampering ahead of June 30 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time -- the first minute that teams are allowed to speak with representatives of free agents. It also might seek information on the timing of negotiations so that any revised free-agency calendar might better align with what is actually happening."
"The investigation followed a tense owners meeting, which multiple sources described to ESPN. Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, speaking as the head of the labor committee, discussed the possible need to revisit free-agency rules in the next collective bargaining agreement, sources said."
One of the suggestions to combat the issue with tampering is giving teams the freedom to speak with free agents immediately after the NBA Finals. Another idea asks for free agency to wrap up before the start of the NBA Draft, which is what the Houston Rockets proposed last year, according to ESPN.
"When the league polled the 30 teams on Houston's proposal this month, only 10 supported it, though several responded that they did not care either way, sources familiar with the poll results say."
"If players can continue to recruit each other freely and at all times, the general sense was that teams should have more time and methods of communicating with impending free agents."
Regardless of when the NBA free agency period officially begins, there will always be teams, and players, looking to get an early track on their most coveted free agents.