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Volume 26 No. 60
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NBA Will Look At Free Agency Rules In Wake Of Quick Deals

Kemba Walker's move to join the Celtics was announced just minutes after free agency opened
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that free agency rules "need to be changed" after many teams and players came to agreements this month "seconds after they were permitted to even talk with one another," according to Jonathan Feigen of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Silver said if the "balance of power is out of whack a little bit," there could be more significant changes to the league's free-agency system. With four years left under the current CBA, Silver "did not specify possible changes." But they could "include ways to permit deal-making during the moratorium, to allow teams to negotiate with their own players, and possibly to move up when teams may begin negotiations" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/10). Silver said, "To a certain extent we always knew that was some leakage, some slippage around those deadlines. There was a certain amount that has been acceptable in the league but the consensus is we need to revisit and reset those rules." He added, "It hurts the perception of integrity around the league if people say, 'You have that rule and the teams aren't totally complying, then why do you have it?' There certainly was a sense that we could do a better job" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/10).

HARD TO KEEP UP: ESPN.com's Tim Bontemps notes all of the player movement this summer has led to "questions about whether that was a potential long-term problem for the league." Silver said that he was not "overly concerned with it." However, he added that he was "cognizant of the fact all 30 teams need to feel they have a chance to compete on a level playing field" (ESPN.com, 7/10). Meanwhile, the AP's Tim Reynolds wrote it was "awkward for draft picks this year who were selected by one team and had already been traded to another." Silver said that there was a "discussion at the league's board of governors meeting" yesterday about "how to change that going forward." Reynolds notes several ideas are "under discussion, including changing the rules about how and when draft-night trades can be announced." It could be earlier next season and "not necessarily attached to the early July end to the moratorium on trades and certain signings" (AP, 7/10).

THROW THE FLAG: ESPN.com's Bontemps notes during yesterday's meeting, the NBA's BOG also "approved a pair of changes for next season: the use of a coach's challenge and the league's replay center initiating replay proceedings for certain types of plays." The coach's challenge will be "used next season by the NBA on a one-year trial basis." Teams can use "one challenge per game regardless of whether it is successful." The challenge "can be used at any point during the game" (ESPN.com, 7/10).