The NBA is investigating the Sixers‘ free agency moves for possible tampering and “early contact,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
As Wojnarowski details, James Harden declined his $47.4MM player option and instead took a pay cut by signing a two-year, $68.6MM deal with a second year player option. That gave the Sixers the flexibility to use their full mid-level exception to sign P.J. Tucker and their bi-annual exception to sign Danuel House — two of Harden’s former teammates with the Rockets under president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, who is now with Philadelphia.
Marc Stein first reported that the Sixers were likely to face a tampering investigation, and he was also one of the first reporters to link Tucker to Philadelphia, with rival teams reportedly convinced that Tucker was signing a three-year deal for the mid-level multiple days before free agency officially opened.
Some around the league have wondered whether the Sixers and Harden already have a future deal in place, which is against the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Wojnarowski notes. Such a handshake agreement would involve declining his player option in 2023 and signing a lucrative new contract at that time.
The Sixers are complying with the investigation, Wojnarowski adds. The Knicks are also likely to face a tampering investigation due to an early free agency agreement with guard Jalen Brunson, as Fred Katz of The Athletic wrote last week.
The Heat (Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade last summer) and Bucks (Bogdan Bogdanovic deal that fell through in 2020) both lost their 2022 second-round picks as a result of previous tampering investigations, and the Bulls will lose their 2023 second-rounder for their early sign-and-trade agreement for Lonzo Ball in 2021.
18 thoughts on “NBA Investigating Sixers’ Free Agency Moves For Tampering”
I did think Lakers and Clippers have certain degree of tampering on Davis and Kawhi.
It is sort of comparable.
It is likely …..
Warriors rely on own draft picks
Lakers, Clippers and Nets were trying to steal other’s team superstars.
You realize Davis was traded for and not signed as a FA – I’d say NOLA did quite well in that deal. KW said he wanted to go back home while he was in San Antonio – before he was traded to Toronto. Would say that the Clippers didn’t even need to tamper, especially since his first preference was the Lakers.
The Lakers have been tampering and getting around the salary caps for decades. The league, mainly thanks to David (I Love L.A.) Stern, turned their heads the other way.
Nice theory but Stern killed the CP3 trade to the lakers so it doesn’t hold much water.
As for AD, the lakers overpaid when they could have waited and signed AD for less money if they were willing to tamper.
What is considered tampering in NBA?
The NBA states that an owner, executive, coach, player or any member of the organization cannot speak to a player signed by another franchise in the hopes of persuading him to join their team.
I mean, why even bother paying the lawyers to conduct the investigation if all a team loses IF they are convicted is a 2nd round pick they could replace (if the team even cared to) for a few bucks? It’s just pathetic. If you want it to stop, take first rounders or, better yet, future salary cap dollars.
Exactly. Probable 2nd round pick.
Why discussed, debated, investigating. For such menial repercussions.
Pathetic,nothing here,big fat nothing burger. Let’s move on. Big offseason for Sixers. Decent moves by morey.
The only people that would care at this point are the Heat and Mavs. Both lost players for nothing in return. Give those teams a 2nd round pick as compensation for tampering.
Otherwise, the real loser is the player that could’ve been drafted by the missing draft pick. Dumb to just take it away.
Joe Smith and all those first are rolling over in their grave
Katz didn’t “relay” any report or expectation of tampering charges against the Knicks.
He made a weak guess based on rumors of interest and trading some contracts before free agency.
Dock the 6ers a 2024 1st round pick and let’s move on here
If they really want to stop this, a very simple addition to the CBA would fix it. Decertify agents involved and reduce the player’s compensation by a specified percentage. That would stop the pre negotiations in its tracks. Otherwise just forget about this and admit players run the league and stop pretending that teams care about losing a second round pick when it comes to kicking up free agents early.
The heat complained to the league from my understanding. Which is pretty rich because they did the got busted for that recently in a way more obvious way
Why are we investigating a 46 yr old FA that signed for the MLE? Like seriously when they investigate for these mid players and do jack when a superstar clearly was involved in tampering is a joke.
Harden needs to be called out for talking about how he was taking “less” money “for the good of the team”. He wasn’t taking less money at all. Just a wink/wink deal.
The NBA has a real problem with all of this. Deals are done illegally before they are even supposed to be talking.
If I were PHI, I’d be less concerned about Tucker, and more concerned (or at least more curious) about why Woj felt the urge to publicly state that some “around the league” have “wondered” something which, if true, would be a real offense. I’m sure many things have wondered about around this league. Why report this?