Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst discussed how the NBA handles the issue of tampering, indicating that those within the league are tolerant of tampering with a player once his season ends and is about to enter free agency. They do have a problem, however, with interference by a rival team before then.
"It's the nature of the beast," said Adrian Wojnarowski on The Woj Pod. "So people you'll hear a lot of, when those deals get reported and we know they're done ahead of time, they'll say, 'Well, this is why the NBA doesn't enforce tampering. They shouldn't enforce tampering. We all know it's going on here.'
"I would counter with this: when the season ends and a player's season is over and either they don't make the playoffs in April, or he gets eliminated May 10th. Whatever it is. It is generally accepted among other general managers that, okay, it's open season on our player now. The season is over. He's not under contract anymore. Maybe he's going to opt out on June 20th, but we know he's opting out. We know what goes on and we all accept that because many of us, I don't want to say everyone, but it's pretty close. Everyone is going to do that.
"To compare that to as one general manager said: 'there's tampering and then there's interference. Don't interfere with my team.'
"That's when a guy has a year left on his contract. Two years left on his contract and you're trying to get a guy to either force a trade. You're trying to get a guy to..whatever it is. Now you've got involved with somebody's team during the season with multiple years left on his deal. I don't know how you can compare that to what goes on after the season, and I think people, if we're leaving in the real world...You can call it all tampering, but it's a pretty clear distinction."
Windhorst spoke to how the NBA draft combine in May has become a de facto start to free agency.
"That's essentially when free agency opens," said Windhorst.
"That's right," said Wojnarowski.