Five months before Adam Silver is elevated to his new role of NBA commissioner nearly two months before the 2013-14 season begins his agenda is being defined for him. The increasingly disturbing news about NBA players and coaches this summer is turning off-court conduct into a leadership priority much as it was for Roger Goodell at the start of his tenure as NFL commissioner.

The latest news was the arrest of the Celtics' Jared Sullinger on charges of assault and battery Tuesday. This follows domestic violence charges against the Nuggets' Ty Lawson and the Thunder's DeAndre Liggins.

There also was the charge of driving under the influence against new Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. Lamar Odom was charged with DUI after a flurry of stories alleging he was in a drug-use crisis. Then there was Michael Beasley's year which managed to hit the entire trio: a moving violation an investigation of alleged sexual assault and an arrest for alleged marijuana possession.

The Suns waived Beasley on Tuesday citing his conduct in a news release that candidly mentioned the reduced payments and increased salary-cap space for the Suns thanks to the stretch provision in the collective bargaining agreement. Rest assured it was Beasley's inconsistent play that made him expendable and made the Suns' decision easier.

What can Silver do about players who can't be so easily dismissed by their teams? After all you could argue that Goodell's conduct crackdown hasn't worked as a deterrent and point to the continued stream of arrests culminating in the murder charge against Aaron Hernandez. But the NBA also can look at its own history and see how policy has come to affect heat-of-the-moment decisions by players.

Commissioner David Stern made the prevention of bench-clearing brawls a priority particularly after the fan-endangering "Malice at the Palace" in 2004. Stern held firm to the edict that there would be mandatory one-game suspensions for players leaving the bench area during altercations even if it meant suspending Amar'e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw from a 2007 playoff game for merely wandering down the sideline out of concern for a possibly injured teammate.