Free agency is a very important time period for a lot of NBA teams, as it provides them opportunities to add players Outright if they have cap space or agree to sign-and-trade arrangements with the franchises.
Usually, free agency happens after the NBA draft is concluded. However, a report by Sarah Todd of Deseret News reveals that a number of front office executives support moving the beginning of free agency prior to the NBA draft, as that could potentially cut down on tampering.
Multiple front office executives that I spoke to said that one major thing they support is moving the beginning of free agency to before the NBA draft and that they welcome discussions on other solutions that would cut down on tampering or fix the current system.
We have seen multiple tampering investigations open up this summer. One team affected is the Philadelphia 76ers. They are currently dealing with a probe from the league about their free agency class featuring James Harden, PJ Tucker, and Danuel House.
ESPN Sources: The NBA has opened an investigation into the Philadelphia 76ers for possible tampering and early contact centered on the franchise’s summer free agency class of James Harden, PJ Tucker and Danuel House. The Sixers have begun cooperating with the league on a probe.
NBA’s expected to pursue circumstances surrounding Harden declining $47M option to sign a 1+1 deal that cut salary to $33M and gave team more flexibility to sign Tucker and House. Some have wondered if another deal was already in place for the future — which is against CBA rules.
Hopefully, we see teams cut down on tampering in the future. It is against the rules currently, but that has not deterred teams from doing it to acquire valuable players in free agency.
It remains to be seen what sort of solutions the league has in mind for this issue. However, it is clear that a lot of league executives want something to be done, and perhaps moving the beginning of free agency to an earlier date before the draft can be a good answer.