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Adam Silver: ‘Swiftest and Harshest Response’ to Await Tanking Teams

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This is a Happy Hour of sorts for the league’s worst teams, the end of a draft era that changes next year when the value of sustained failure will take a major hit because of reformed rules.

This is the last, best chance to take advantage of the current system. But tankers beware: The league is watching more closely than ever.

A Feb. 21 memo sent by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to all 30 teams explaining the [Mark] Cuban fine made that much abundantly clear.

“Over the past several seasons, discussions about so-called ‘tanking’ in the NBA have occurred with some frequency, both in the public discourse and within our league, and you as governors have taken steps to address the underlying incentive issues by adopting changes to our draft lottery system that will go into effect next year,” Silver wrote in the letter which was obtained by USA TODAY Sports. “Throughout this period, we have been careful to distinguish between efforts teams may make to rebuild their rosters, including through personnel changes over the course of several seasons, and circumstances in which players or coaches on the floor take steps to lose games.

“The former can be a legitimate strategy to construct a successful team within the confines of league rules; the latter — which we have not found and hope never to see in the NBA — has no place in our game. If we ever received evidence that players or coaches were attempting to lose or otherwise taking steps to cause any game to result otherwise than on its competitive merits, that conduct would be met with the swiftest and harshest response possible from the league office.”

 Source: Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports

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Sources: NBA Focusing on Martin Luther King Day for Start of 2020-21 Regular Season

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The NBA is focusing on Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 18) for a start date next season, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.\

Source: Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports

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Sources: Nuggets, Other Teams Interested in Jrue Holiday

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Even though official league business hasn’t begun for next season, it hasn’t stopped teams from discussing parameters for trades.

One hot name: New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday. According to sources, around 10 teams are inquiring about his services and one team hot after him is the Denver Nuggets, eager to capitalize on their appearance in the West Finals.

Holiday, an All-Defense performer capable of playing both guard spots, averaged 19.1 points and 6.7 assists for the Pelicans this past season and seemingly could fit in with the Nuggets’ youth and recent experience. He’s under contract for next season with a player option for 2021-22 at $27 million, and many teams believe the Pelicans will be looking to shed some salary going into next season.

Source: Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports

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Sources: Stan Van Gundy, Pelicans Agree to Deal

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ESPN reporting with @_andrew_lopez: Stan Van Gundy has agreed to a deal to become the next coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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