The NBA fined the Clippers $250K for a violation of the league’s rules against circumventing the salary cap during their free agency pitch to DeAndre Jordan. During their meeting with the big man on July 2nd, the Clippers presented Jordan with a potential third-party endorsement opportunity with Lexus that would pay the center $200K annually. That was before Jordan gave his commitment to the Mavericks, an agreement that later came undone when he expressed second thoughts about leaving the Clippers, who convinced him to re-sign.
The league’s investigation concluded that the violation didn’t influence Jordan’s ultimate decision to return to the team. But the NBA imposed the fine anyway, since rules prohibit teams from arranging compensation for players outside of the salary set forth via the contractual terms allowed under the collective bargaining agreement. The violation was unintentional, owner Steve Ballmer wrote in an internal memo he sent to members of the Clippers organization that Dan Woike of the Orange County Register obtained.
“As I shared with everyone on day one of purchasing the Team, being part of the Clippers family means operating with the highest integrity,” Ballmer wrote in part. “We believed we were doing this the right way, and any circumvention was inadvertent. In our effort to support our players in every way possible, we as an organization must be diligent in complying with the CBA.”
This brings me to the topic of the day: Was the league’s punishment of the Clippers fair? If not, what penalty should have been handed down from the NBA?
If you were a member of the Mavericks organization, would you feel satisfied with the Clippers simply having to pay a $250K fine? Or would you argue that no matter what the official findings, the endorsement deal could have indeed played a part in Jordan reversing course and heading back to L.A.? Would a penalty as severe as a forfeiture of a future draft pick be warranted in your eyes? Or are you on the other side of the argument and feel that the punishment was too severe? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the issue. Feel free to expand the boundaries of the discussion if need be. We look forward to what you have to say.