Teams approve stiffer penalties for tampering



September 23, 2019 - 10:15 AM

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the media during a news conference on Feb. 16. DAVID T. FOSTER/CHARLOTTE OBSERVER/TNS

The NBA’s board of governors was unanimous Friday in its approval of a plan to stiffen potential penalties for tampering with players and employees under contract with other clubs, hoping for increased compliance in existing league rules.

Fines of up to $10 million are now possible in the most egregious situations, along with forfeiture of draft picks, suspensions of executives and voiding of contracts when rule breaking is found — significant enough threats, the league hopes, to end any notion of teams entering into deals with free agents before rules allow.

“We need to ensure that we’re creating a culture of compliance in this league,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said after two days of meetings concluded in New York. “Our teams want to know that they’re competing on a level playing field and frankly don’t want to feel disadvantaged if they are adhering to our existing rules.”

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