The NBA is investigating the Pelicans, Bulls, Raptors, and Heat for tampering after each team was involved in sign-and-trade deals this offseason.
The NBA is reportedly opening an investigation into the New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls for the trade involving Lonzo Ball, as well as the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat for the trade of Kyle Lowry. According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski, the league is looking into possible tampering violations.
The Pelicans traded Ball to the Bulls as part of a sign-and-trade that saw the young guard pick up a four-year, $85 million contract in the process. As for Lowry, he was sent to the Heat and signed a three-year, $90 million contract.
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It's likely the league is suspicious of tampering because the moves were made immediately after the window for free agency began.
As for potential punishments, Woj explained the league's options on Twitter: "Two years ago, NBA elevated maximum tampering fine to $10M for teams and opened door for suspension of executives, forfeiture of draft picks and voiding of contracts."
The league will analyze phone call records, texts, and emails of team executives to determine whether they believe the rules were violated during either move.
The NBA recently took away the Milwaukee Bucks' second-round pick in 2022 because of tampering in a failed sign-and-trade attempt for Bogdan Bogdanovic.