The NBA’s anti-tampering measures are believed to be aimed towards players acting as intermediaries for teams.
“I can’t control if players talk to Giannis and say ‘hey, come play with me,'” said Brian Windhorst of the Milwaukee Bucks’ situation with Giannis Antetokounmpo. “What I don’t want is a player acting as a proxy of a team. To me, that’s where I think there could be targeting. And, it’s also a fair complaint by the teams who are afraid of getting their guys (poached).”
“That’s 100 percent where the league plans to target on this,” replied Adrian Wojnarowski. “They understand they’re not targeting two players out at dinner. Or two players texting about wanting to play together. What the league says they want to do, what’s been communicated to the owners, the teams is when a player is acting on behalf of his organization, when the owner or the GM puts the player up to, ‘Hey, that guy is under contract in small market A, start working that guy to ask for a trade demand. You start working that guy, let him know we’re going to offer A, B, C and D to his team to get him out of here to bring him here.’
“That’s what they’re after. When that’s orchestrated. I think the player to player… certainly with the (James) Harden, Chris Paul to Houston. And then Harden to (Russell) Westbrook to move Chris Paul out of Houston.”
Adrian Wojnarowski made a distinction with the Kawhi Leonard situation concerning the Los Angeles Clippers trading for Paul George as Leonard was a free agent.
“As one GM said to me the other day, ‘The teams are often the last to know in these instances,’,” added Wojnarowski. “The star player often goes out and starts working a guy and then comes back and says ‘I want this guy.'”