The NBA doesn’t like when teams and players tamper within the rules and it looks like, maybe, two teams might have jumped the gun before the free agency period began.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the league has launched an investigation into the Chicago Bulls’ sign-and-trade acquisition of Lonzo Ball, as well as the Miami Heat’s sign-and-trade for Kyle Lowry, over possible tampering. The league wishes to look into whether there was contact prior to 6 p.m. ET on Monday, as such contact would have been prohibited prior to that time.
Two years ago, the NBA amped up the penalties for tampering. Teams can face up to a $10 million fine for tampering, $6 million for improper deals and $5 million for comments trying to entice players on another team, according to the NBA. In addition, the NBA can void contracts, take away draft picks and suspend executives. Commissioner Adam Silver also has the authority to take cell phones, tablets and other devices for an investigation.
Free agency tampering has always been going on but the league simply can’t keep up to police the situation when players and teams will simply work around the issue.