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Lonzo Ball, Kyle Lowry trades under NBA investigation for tampering

Bulls, Lonzo Ball, Heat, Kyle Lowry, NBA

While Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball are already members of two different organizations, it appears the NBA will be investigating the sign and trades that saw the respective players join the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls because of potential tampering, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

Basically, tampering suggests that teams, coaches, or players can’t approach members of different NBA organizations who are bound for contracts with that said team. In this case, it involves a deal surrounding Lowry between the Raptors and Heat along with Ball, who went from New Orleans to Chicago.

Deals weren’t able to be discussed until 6 PM EST on August 2nd. Both moves oddly were completed just shortly after free agency opened, which could mean there was definitely some tampering involved.

The Milwaukee Bucks were the latest victim of this rule last offseason, with the NBA stripping a second-round pick from them after they tried to put together a sign and trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic that eventually deteriorated. Per Wojnarowski, the largest fine an NBA team can receive for tampering is around $10 million:

As you can see though in the Bucks’ case, clubs may also lose draft picks or have front office figures suspended. This situation is in its early stages, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.