Sources: NBA eyeing unnatural shot motion rule

The NBA’s Competition Committee met Monday to further explore rule changes to restrict the unnatural motions surrounding jump shots that players are using to draw fouls, sources told ESPN.

The league wants to limit ability of players – including crafty stars like James Harden, Luka Doncic and Trae Young – to lean backwards and sideways, for example – to initiate contact and get to the free throw line.

The NBA has shared a video compilation of player examples with the 30 teams that outlines a number of motions deemed unnatural that used to draw fouls. The NBA and Competition Committee will drill down on specific plays with the league’s GM’s next week to target examples that’ll be recommended to owners to vote to eliminate next season, sources said.

There’s growing belief that these many of these maneuvers are contributing to a game that’s slanting too much of an advantage toward the offense. While the concentration of these issues is often focused on star players getting much more usage and exposure with the ball, the league sees this as a universal problem throughout lineups and rosters – not only an issue for star players.

The NBA and Competition Committee – compromised of a select group of owners, general managers, coaches, players and referees – largely believes there’s a framework of rules that allows offensive players too much free time to initiate contact in what are deemed unnatural and awkward ways.

There’s a plan for the Competition Committee to bring recommendations to the Board of Governors for a vote this summer, implementing rules changes ahead of Las Vegas Summer League in August and the start of the 2021-2022 season, sources said. The league office is hopeful that referees can start implementing changes in how they officiate during summer league games, sources said.