Let’s just get the obvious out of the way: This will not change how teams reach out to potential players in advance of the start of free agency. Not in the least. Those back-channel conversations go on for months and years, it’s part of the game now. It’s only “tampering” when someone does something obvious and stupid and gets caught.
That said, the NBA is moving up the start of its moratorium on free agency — which traditionally started the second the clock said it was July 1— by six hours, reports Tim Bontempts of ESPN.
The NBA is expected to move up the start of its annual moratorium from midnight on July 1 to 6pm on June 30, sources told ESPN. The move will shift the league away from an antiquated system by allowing teams to start talking to players at a reasonable hour.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 15, 2019
When this rule was put in place, teams were not showing up on the doorstep of free agents or calling them at midnight, the second free agency opened. As those midnight calls and meetings started to become the norm, more and more players and agents would set up shop in Los Angeles for the start of July, that way the conversations could happen starting at 9 p.m. rather than midnight.
This will put everyone on a more reasonable timeline in that sense. It’s a good move.
Just don’t expect it to impact tampering.