The NBA has reportedly opened up investigations into possible tampering violations centered around two major sign-and-trade deals earlier this offseason, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.
Reporting with @RamonaShelburne on ESPN: The NBA has opened up investigations into possible tampering violations involving two sign-and-trade deals completed in free agency: New Orleans and Chicago centered on Lonzo Ball, and Toronto and Miami centered on Kyle Lowry. Story soon.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 7, 2021
Even more so these days, being found guilty for tampering in the NBA can have some pretty serious ramifications.
Two years ago, the league upped the maximum tampering fine to $10 million per team and added suspensions for executives, forfeiture of draft picks and voiding of contracts to the list of potential punishments. Team executives involved in league investigations are also open to random audits of phones records, texts and emails, per Woj.
NBA rules prohibited teams from discussing potential contracts with players before the free agency window opened at 6 p.m. ET on Aug. 2. Reports of Ball’s four-year, $85 million deal with the Bulls were released by NBA insider Shams Charania at exactly 6:00 p.m. ET, just seconds after the legal tampering period opened up.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 2, 2021
While Lowry’s three-year, $85 million contract with the Heat wasn’t made official until yesterday, reports of this move were rumbling well before Monday’s 6 p.m. ET window opened up.
The reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks were stripped of a second-round pick after attempting to land Bogdan Bogdanovic from the Sacramento Kings in an early sign-and-trade deal last year. The Bucks ultimately withdrew from the deal, and Bogdanovic went on to sign with the Atlanta Hawks instead.
Stay tuned for updates on these developing investigations.