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Trevor Booker says ‘a lot of teams’ are tampering

Jun 9, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

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Wizards forward Trevor Booker will become a free agent for the first time this offseason.

It shows.

Booker would become a restricted free agent if Washington extends a $4,677,708 qualifying offer. Otherwise, he’d become an unrestricted free agent.

Either way, he’s technically still under contract with the Wizards through June 30 and isn’t free to negotiate with other teams until July 1.

So, this quote –  during an interview at a basketball camp he held at his former high school – is a little curious. Booker, via Matt Connolly of GoUpstate.com:

“It’s the first time so my agent is talking me through it, letting me know every step. A lot of teams are calling right now that are interested,” he said. “We’re in negotiations with a few different teams, so I guess we’ll just see how the summer pans out.”

Asked whether the Wizards had granted Booker permission to speak to other teams, a Wizards spokesman wrote in an email, “NBA players can’t negotiate with other teams until July 1st.” He did not immediately respond to a follow-up question about whether Washington has or will file a tampering complaint.

Neither the NBA nor Booker’s agent, Andy Miller, immediately returned requests for comment.

I see three possibilities:

1. Miller and Booker have miscommunicated about the amount of interest he’s received.

2. Booker is embellishing his value during a hometown interview.

3. Teams have contacted Booker’s agent to express interest, likely violating unenforced NBA tampering rules.

All three are relatively harmless in this case.

However, No. 3 – the most likely scenario in my estimation – can be dangerous in the long run. The NBA’s rules are vague and arbitrarily enforced, leaving the league too much discretion to punish as it sees fit – or carry out any vendetta it chooses. The NBA basically has free reign to selectively enforce.

Overhauling the tampering rules is long overdue. The letter of the law should match what the league actually permits.

Booker is just one example, and likely the only consequence will be his agent telling him to stop talking. But the issue is much more pervasive than this.

  1. loubearkane - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    LOL JK JK was only kidding

    • jcmeyer10 - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      My speech to the kids was hacked!

  2. basketballhooper1 - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Wow, again you media people manipulate quotes to get a headline.

    • spursareold - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      Do you not see that the DIRECT QUOTE from Booker in the article shows tampering? He says his agent is talking to lots of teams, when no one can do that until July 1st. That’s not inconsistent with the headline.

      • basketballhooper1 - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:48 AM

        Yeah but he himself didn’t say “tampering”. Had he directly said it, it would be another story as he would then obviously only want to resign with Washington. This way, he just let it slip out that other teams are talking.

  3. rrhoe - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Yeah Trevor,I can see alot of teams lining up for your whopping 6.4 career scoring average and your 5.1 rebounds,break the bank dude…….

    • spursareold - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      His career PER is 15.0, which is NBA average. If you pay him for what he brings, he should get an MLE deal, which is pegged as the average NBA salary. No one will, though, meaning someone is going to get a bargain on him. I’d be calling him too, knowing a bargain was in the works.

    • sire2334 - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      He’s actually one of those guys that you throw the numbers out the door with. He’s pretty good. Just needs more run.

      • spursareold - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        You throw TRADITIONAL numbers out the door. Advanced stats love this guy.

    • bigbenh8tr - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      He was asked a question and answered. He never said he deserved a big contract or anything along those lines. Keep looking for something to get mad about because your own shortcomings

  4. ProBasketballPundit - Jun 9, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Snitches get stitches, Trevor.

  5. sumkat - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    It depends on the “tampering” if you ask me. If they are already talking years and dollars, yeah, I see a problem with that. If they just contact his agent and said “do you think Washington is going to qualify hiim? If not, would he be interested”, I don’t see a real problem with that

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