NBA sends memo to warn of potential tampering violations

LeBron James and the Lakers are clearly hoping to land Pelicans star big man Anthony Davis.

LeBron James discussed a desire for the Los Angeles Lakers to trade for Anthony Davis, with James all but orchestrating the question.

Then, James’ camp went to the media to make sure everyone knew that James and the New Orleans Pelicans star dined together after the game.

No more, the NBA said in a memo sent to teams and ESPN.

From ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

“In a memo obtained by ESPN on Friday morning, league counsel seemed to be alluding to the James’ scenario, saying, ’employment contracts are to be respected and conduct that interferes with contractual employment relationships is prohibited.'”

Davis is still under contract with the Pelicans for this season, and next. He is eligible to sign a supermax extension (only with the Pelicans) in July. But James turned down the same opportunity with the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer and apparently, is trying to convince Davis to do the same.

Per Wojnarowski, the memo also read: “This principle is particularly important in today’s media environment, where any actions or comments relating to potential player movement receive immediate and widespread public attention. Teams should be entitled to focus their efforts on the competition this season with the players they have under contract, without having to divert attention or resources to conduct or speculation regarding the potential destinations of those players in future seasons once their contracts expire.”

Several general managers expressed concern last week about the smaller market stars being openly recruited by large-market teams, per ESPN.

“It’s New Orleans’ problem today, and a problem with a different player tomorrow for the rest of us,” an Eastern Conference GM told ESPN. “It’s open season on small markets and our players.”

The NBA’s memo went on to suggest that potential tampering violations will be monitored more closely.