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

Basketball Insiders

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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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2018 Free Agency Diary

RFA Montrezl Harrell Stays with Clippers on 2-Year Deal

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Restricted free-agent center Montrezl Harrell has agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract to return to the LA Clippers, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN. Harrell’s deal is fully guaranteed, sources said.

Harrell, 24, joined the Clippers as part of the Chris Paul trade with the Houston Rockets last season and made an imprint with his rebounding and defense. Harrell averaged 11 points and 4 rebounds in 17 minutes per game for the Clippers.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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2018 Free Agency Diary

Free-Agent Center Alex Len Agrees to Deal with Hawks

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Free-agent center Alex Len has agreed to a two-year, $8.5 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Yahoo Sports first reported the deal. Len averaged 8.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Suns last season. The 25-year-old was taken fifth overall by Phoenix in the 2013 draft. He’s averaged 7.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in his career.

Source: ESPN

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2018 Free Agency Diary

Sources: Kings, Nemanja Bjelica Agree to Deal

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Forward Nemanja Bjelica has agreed to a three-year, $20.5M deal with the Sacramento Kings, league sources tell Yahoo. Third year will be non-guaranteed.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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