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Several Ways the NBA 2019-20 Season Has Changed This Offseason



Time and again—that means every year, the league rolls out new rules for the NBA players and teams to follow. That’s despite the association claiming that the rules are being broken frequently.

Tampering, at the player and team levels, is one of the most common violations. The Board of Governors received several proposed changes that it has to approve or reject yet in the coming years.

Here are some of the changes that we may see, this 2019-20 NBA season.

Tampering rules

Declaration of unauthorized benefits

The team must report within 24 hours if an agent or any player representative who asked for a benefit (or benefits) that is otherwise not allowed. The bases are the salary and the collective bargaining agreement which the latter termed as “unauthorized benefits.”

Preservation of communications

All teams need to preserve any and all communications undertaken with players and their respective agents. Teams need to keep a record of a year’s communication.

Reporting anonymously

The league shall create new channels for teams and their employees to report any violations. The report would be anonymous and confidential.

Trade requests

No player would be allowed to induce a demand for a trade. This is especially applicable for players who are under contract.

Random investigatory audit

The league would also conduct an investigation of five teams on a random basis every year. The goal of the inspection is to assess the team’s system rules compliance.

Annual certification

Team governors, operations executives, and negotiators need to submit a certification, detailing they did not talk to any free agent and/or their representatives before the actual free agency dates. Likewise, they need to certify that no unauthorized benefits were offered to a player. They need to do this for each signed contract.

A team who is proven to have violated the rules would be fined $10,000. 

Challenge rule

The season will adapt the Coach’s Challenge on a trial run. Such a contest allows any team to review one decision per game.

A team is allowed to challenge a personal foul, out-of-bound ball possession, and goal-tending at any time other than in the game’s final two minutes.

A timeout must be called if the team wishes to challenge the decision since this is a potential interruption. Teams need to utilize the challenge strategically since it means losing a timeout.

Salary cap rules

In other interesting news, the NBA has also issued projected salary cups for the next two seasons (2020-21 and 2021-22). The salary cap would be $116 million and $125 million, respectively. The luxury tax threshold for the first year would be $141 million and $151 million in the second year.

There would be at least $2 million difference.

This is a significant problem among NBA teams who have already capped out for the next season. These are the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Golden State Warriors, whose capped out over $143 million already.

One issue leading to the 2021-22 NBA season is the free agency of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and LeBron James.

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