Report: NBA considering rule change on “take” fouls, one free throw plus keep possession – NBC Sports

Fast breaks — leading to high-flying dunks and transition 3s — are the most exciting plays in basketball. They are also some of the most efficient offense; teams score far more points per possession in transition than going against a set defense in the halfcourt.
Which is why the NBA has been seeing the “take” foul more and more — an intentional defensive foul early in transition to draw a whistle and end the break. Smart players have been doing it before their team was in the penalty to take away a sure two points (Chris Paul was a primary practitioner, for example).
There has been a relative explosion of take fouls in the NBA the past couple of seasons, and the league will finally address the issue this offseason, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The NBA is eyeing a rule change to the “transition take foul” that would award the offensive team with one free throw and retaining possession, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Board of Governors vote set for July. The change is similar to current rules in G League.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 17, 2022

League discussed update on the “transition take foul” during its General Managers meeting in Chicago today. There was widespread support in meeting, as conversations have been ongoing among the NBA, NBPA and Competition Committee over the past several months. https://t.co/TZnkcWcYLD
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 17, 2022

Both fans and people inside the league agreed the NBA needed to make a move and address the take foul issue. In international basketball (where the take foul was an epidemic for years), a take foul is called as an unsportsmanlike foul with two free throws and the offense retaining possession. In the G-League, the NBA tested the rule as Charania noted, with one free throw plus the team with the ball keeping possession. It still worked to essentially end the practice.
Expect that rule to come to the NBA next season. It needs to.
Are the Detroit Pistons genuinely not eager to be sellers at the trade deadline? Are they trying to posture for the best price on the players they do plan to trade? A little of both?
The latest report on the Pistons reiterates what has been said before — they are not eager to trade Bojan Bogdanovic, so the price remains high, starting with an unprotected first. They are not looking to sell Alec Burkes or others, reports James L. Edwards III of The Athletic.
While Detroit has aspirations to be more competitive next season — and Bogdanović would surely help make that happen — the Pistons aren’t opposed to moving him, league sources say. However, they’re not anxiously trying to deal him, either, as they value not only his on-court play but the leadership he’s brought to the young team. Per league sources, the price tag to acquire Bogdanović appears to be, at the very minimum, an unprotected first-round pick. As the trade deadline inches closer, the sense is there is a decent chance Detroit’s front office will get offered the pick it is looking for, which would then prompt the team to seriously weigh the risk and reward of departing with a known quality player for an uncertain asset…
Of course, every player has a price, but, per league sources, the Pistons have shown very little interest in trading Burks before the deadline. The sense I’m getting is a team would have to vastly overpay for Burks’ services.
He adds that the Pistons are not eager to move on from Saddiq Bey, either, and it would take a big offer to land him. The player most likely to be moved is veteran big man Nerlens Noel.
Per league sources, the teams most engaged in talks with the Pistons about Noel to date are the Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks.
Bogdanovic — or the Hawks’ John Collins — is the best player likely traded near the Feb. 9 deadline. In a seller’s market there is no reason for the Pistons to consider lowering their price tag until much closer to that date. They can force teams to come to them, meet their price (or get a lot closer to it). The Lakers are among the teams mentioned, both for Bogdanovic and Noel.
Bogdanovic, 33, is averaging a career-high 21.2 and 41.5% from 3. He is making $19.3 million this season and signed a two-year, $39 million extension that kicks in next season (the second year is only $2 million guaranteed).
The Pistons will likely be a seller at the trade deadline, but how big a seller may depend on the buyers coming to meet them.
When the Jazz shocked the NBA to open the season 10-3, there was no talk of trades anymore, the focus was on the playoffs and the job coach Will Hardy had done bringing an odd-fitting, grab-bag of players together. But since then the team has gone 12-21 and fallen back to 10th in the West, trying to hang on to a play-in spot.
Which means the trade rumors are back, or at least other teams are hopeful the Jazz will be deadline sellers. The Clippers are hoping that Mike Conley will be available, reports Marc Stein in his latest newsletter.
Sources say they also have trade interest in Utah’s Mike Conley Jr. amid a rising belief leaguewide that the Jazz — who have tumbled to No. 9 in the West at 22-24 after their great start — could become a much-needed seller at this deadline. The Clippers’ backcourt depth just took a hit with the news that John Wall is out for at least two weeks with an abdominal strain.
The trade is not hard to construct, Conley makes $22.7 million this season and the Clippers have a host of players making between $10-$16 million. For example, Robert Covington and Reggie Jackson to Utah works, although the Jazz would want one of the Clippers’ more promising young players — Terrance Mann, Brandon Boston — and picks thrown in any deal. Conley has a partially guaranteed $24.4 million contract for next season (only $14.3 million is guaranteed).
Los Angeles has not gotten enough production out of the point guard spot this season, although that was expected to be less of an issue on a roster where Paul George and Kawhi Leonard were supposed to do the bulk of the playmaking. Except, the wing duo has not been healthy enough, which has shifted more shot creation and the need for defense to the point. Tyronn Lue recently — and finally — shifted Mann into the starting lineup over Jackson, with Wall having a lot of responsibility when healthy. In year four of the Leonard/George era, the Clippers have not looked like anything close to a contender and are looking around at the trade deadline for a roster upgrade and a jolt to their postseason efforts.
Conley is averaging 10.2 points (his lowest point per game total since his rookie season) and is shooting 38% overall, although he is dishing out 7.5 assists per game. Once a plus defender, he is not that guy anymore. Still, he is a stable floor general and veteran Tyronn Lue could trust in big postseason minutes.
The question becomes, will the Jazz be sellers? Will they give up Conley for picks (and what about Malik Beasley and other Jazz players teams covet)? It’s a seller’s market right now, and Danny Ainge does like to sell high.
Conley to the Clippers is something worth watching.
LOS ANGELES — There were a lot of questions after the final seconds of the Lakers’ loss to the 76ers Sunday night: Why didn’t LeBron James — the best player on the floor in the game, with 35 points with 10 assists — touch the ball? Why did Russell Westbrook choose to isolate against Joel Embiid — a cross-match, but Embiid is one of the best defensive centers in the game and a huge body not easy to drive around? Why didn’t Lakers coach Darvin Ham call a timeout when he saw what was happening?
The final result wasn’t pretty for a Lakers team in need of wins.
Westbrook fumbled the ball on his first move, gathered it, but by then time was running out so he drove left, couldn’t get by Embiid and the help defense of Georges Niang, and put up what officially was a shot blocked by Niang (although it almost looks like Westbrook is trying to pass to Troy Brown Jr. in the opposite corner). Embiid grabbed the loose ball, and that was the game.
mini: van
HUGE: GAME WINNING BLOCK pic.twitter.com/2ZiTWWuUUY
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 16, 2023

Westbrook said he was fouled on that final shot attempt, even showing a few reporters around his locker a photo as evidence.
“I was trying to attack and get to the basket. Unfortunately, he was grabbing my wrist. I couldn’t get the ball up,” Westbrook said. “But it’s all good.”
Did Joel Embiid get away with a foul on Russell Westbrook on the final play of Lakers-Sixers? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/JazbNRX6Ps
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 16, 2023

Embiid denied that he fouled Westbrook, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
“I don’t think I fouled him,” Embiid said. “Physical play on both sides. You could have called a foul on the other end, too, on the bump. So, it goes both ways… They were pushing the ball in transition and he was in front of me and I just waved everybody else off. I believe I’m a great defender, so I believe I can get a stop on anybody. He was actually unlucky because he lost the ball and then from there, he kind of had nothing else going.”
It may have been a foul by the book, but it was a subtle one in real-time and the kind of thing rarely called in the final seconds of a game.
The bigger questions surrounded the decision to let Westbrook isolate on Embiid in the first place — why didn’t LeBron James touch the ball? Why didn’t Lakers coach Darvin Ham use his time out?
“Just being down one point in the ball in Russell Westbrook’s hands, I’m comfortable with that. I don’t know how much I can reiterate that,” Ham said postgame. “If that was Bron it’d be the same thing, and we don’t want to bring an extra body over… if we got cross-match with Embiid in front of us again, we just got to make it. We just got to finish the play. That’s it.”
“We got a stop, gave ourselves a chance to win the game, we didn’t,” a frustrated LeBron said postgame in the locker room. When a reporter tried to link this loss to the Lakers’ loss to Dallas last Thursday in double overtime, LeBron simply said, “different game.”
It was a different game, but it also was the second straight game the Lakers could not get a stop when they needed it, couldn’t get a last bucket when they needed it, and lost in the clutch. In both cases, the Lakers didn’t get a late foul call they thought they deserved.
While both losses are to top-five teams in their conference, the Lakers are past the point in the season where they can afford moral victories. Los Angeles is five games below .500 and sits 13th in the West.
“We’re a better team [now] than at the start of the season,” LeBron said.
“I know when we have our team together, when we locked in, we’re a really good team,” Westbrook said.
LOS ANGELES — Three Things To Know is NBC’s five-days-a-week wrap-up of the night before in the NBA. Check out NBCSports.com every weekday morning to catch up on what you missed the night before plus the rumors, drama, and dunks that make the NBA must-watch.

1) Lakers got the full Russell Westbrook experience Sunday

There are more positives than negatives with the Russell Westbrook experience lately in Los Angeles… but oh, those negatives leave a mark.
Westbrook brings energy off the bench the Lakers need nightly. Sunday night against Philadelphia he had his fourth triple-double off the bench this season (20 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists). He’s had improved chemistry with LeBron James of late, which showed with two key buckets late in the first half Sunday.
RUSS TO LEBRON 🤯
TOUGH.
📲 https://t.co/WjxYAo1gl0 pic.twitter.com/pWflnQRaaO
— NBA (@NBA) January 16, 2023

Even defensively, Westbrook made a play. With the 76ers up one and less than :30 seconds remaining in the game, he got switched onto Joel Embiid and played solid defense, not getting bullied in the paint and pushing Embiid to take a fade-away jumper that hit the front of the rim.
Then came the negative.
Westbrook got the rebound off that Embiid miss, brought the ball up, and never looked to LeBron — who was the best player on the floor in the game, scoring 35 points with 10 assists — instead deciding he would isolate in a cross-match against Joel Embiid (a guy who gets mentioned in Defensive Player of the Year conversations). Westbrook fumbled the ball a little, gathered it, then time was running out so he drove left, couldn’t get by Embiid and the help defense of Georges Niang, and put up what he said was a shot but almost looked like he wanted to skip pass to Troy Brown Jr. in the opposite corner. Whatever it was, Niang was officially credited with a block and, for the second straight game, the Lakers lost in the clutch.
mini: van
HUGE: GAME WINNING BLOCK pic.twitter.com/2ZiTWWuUUY
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 16, 2023

Westbrook said he was fouled on that final shot attempt, even showing a few reporters around his locker a photo as evidence.
“I was trying to attack and get to the basket. Unfortunately, he was grabbing my wrist. I couldn’t get the ball up,” Westbrook said. “But it’s all good.”
Did Joel Embiid get away with a foul on Russell Westbrook on the final play of Lakers-Sixers? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/JazbNRX6Ps
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 16, 2023

Embiid denied that he fouled Westbrook (and countered that Westbrook had fouled him on the other end, but these things don’t get called late in games).
Joel Embiid on the last play guarding Russell Westbrook: “I don’t think I fouled him … He was unlucky because he lost the ball. I would say he was unlucky”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 16, 2023

It may have been a foul by the book, but it was a subtle one in real-time and the kind of thing rarely called in the final seconds of a game. The bigger question was the decision to let Westbrook isolate on Embiid in the first place — why didn’t LeBron James touch the ball? Why didn’t Lakers coach Darvin Ham call a time-out (the Lakers had one) and set up a play?
“Just being down one point in the ball in Russell Westbrook’s hands, I’m comfortable with that. I don’t know how much I can reiterate that,” Ham said postgame. “If that was Bron it’d be the same thing, and we don’t want to bring an extra body over… if we got cross-match within Embiid in front of us again, we just got to make it. We just got to finish the play. That’s it.”
It was the second straight game the Lakers could not get a stop when they needed it, couldn’t get a last bucket when they needed it, and lost in the clutch. The previous loss was to Dallas, this one to Philadelphia — both top-five teams in their conference — but the Lakers are past the point in the season where they can have moral victories. Los Angeles is five games below .500 and sits 13th in the West.
“I know when we have our team together, when we locked in, we’re a really good team,” Westbrook said.
The Lakers’ biggest highlight of the night came in the first quarter, when with a 20-foot straight-on jumper LeBron became only the second player in NBA history to reach 38,000 points.
HISTORY MADE 👑
LeBron James becomes only the second player in NBA history to score 38,000 career points. pic.twitter.com/uqLckZ9LY0
— NBA (@NBA) January 16, 2023

After this game LeBron is just 364 points shy of the once thought unbreakable NBA all-time scoring mark of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. LeBron is on pace to set the record around the All-Star break in February.
It wasn’t pretty. Not the Nuggets’ second half (they led by 15 at halftime), nor the final play itself.
It didn’t matter — Nikola Jokic bailed the Nuggets out with a step-back 3 game-winner to beat the Magic on Sunday.
NIKOLA JOKIC CALLED GAME 😱 pic.twitter.com/5zu0ALNLn4
— NBA (@NBA) January 16, 2023

It was a league-leading 12th triple-double for Jokic, who finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists. Aaron Gordon led the Nuggets with 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting.
In his revenge game against his former team Bol Bol had 17 points off the bench for the Magic.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day about things far more important than basketball — a chance to reflect on one of the great leaders America ever produced, and the ongoing struggle for the justice and equality he preached.
But it is also a day the NBA has embraced and celebrates with an impressive slate of games.
There are nine games on the day, but three that should draw your focus in particular.
Pelicans at Cavaliers (3 p.m. Eastern, NBA League Pass). New Orleans will be without Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, but CJ McCollum and company have still been finding ways to keep their head above water and win some games until their stars return. Getting a win will not be easy against the second-best defense in the NBA (led by Jarrett Allen) and the unleashed scoring machine that is Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland.
Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks (3:30 p.m. Eastern, TNT). Atlanta is a special place on MLK Day, the city where he was born and raised (if you’re there, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park is must visit). The Hawks celebrate that legacy well — and they need a win. This is a struggling franchise that has seen a front office shakeup, they are trying to trade one of their stars (John Collins), and the fit of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray has not been smooth all season. Into town comes a Heat team that has won three in a row — sweeping a couple of games against the Bucks — and looks like it is finally starting to find its footing (if they can just stay healthy and keep their stars on the court).
Phoenix Suns at Memphis Grizzlies (6 p.m. Eastern, TNT). Memphis is where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and it’s home to the National Civil Rights Museum — another city where the MLK Day events are not to be missed. Memphis is also home to Ja Morant, the most entertaining player in the NBA today, and a Grizzlies team that is finally mostly healthy and starting to play like a contender. They host a Suns team that has struggled mightily without Devin Booker (who remains out), but still can be a threat when Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton get rolling.
The other games on the NBA slate today are Celtics at Hornets, Pacers at Bucks, Raptors at Knicks, Jazz at Timberwolves, Rockets at Lakers.

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