The NBA announced Monday that the Philadelphia 76ers have been docked 2023 and 2024 second-round draft picks after a tampering investigation into the signings of P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. this past free agency. The investigation found that the Sixers “engaged in free agency discussions involving two players prior to the date when such discussions were permitted.”
The Sixers released their own statement after the ruling was put out.
“The Philadelphia 76ers fully cooperated with the NBA’s investigation and acknowledge the league’s ruling. We’re moving forward, focused on the season ahead.”
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium noted the NBA found no wrongdoing in regards to the $15 million pay cut James Harden took to help make those free agent deals work this summer.
It’s not a big surprise the Sixers are receiving some punishment from the NBA for this. It was reported before free agency began that Tucker was going to sign with Philly, with the likely contract number even being reported out. It was blatantly obvious that the Sixers tampered with Tucker, so the league had to do something here based on their current rules. Last year, the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat each lost second-round picks for their Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry deals, respectively.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the “NBA and NBPA are expected to revisit the rules that punish teams discovered to have had discussions with player agents on pending free agents ahead of free agency’s official start.” Based on all the deals announced right when free agency opens, it’s obvious how often this occurs, making it “hard to police and largely impossible to eliminate.”
Perhaps the NBA just gets rid of tampering rules altogether, or they actually start handing out harsher penalties that really hurt. The Sixers losing a pair of second-round picks isn’t nothing, but it’s still not losing a first. Here’s Philly’s second-round pick situation:
That leaves Philadelphia with 2 tradable 2nd round picks in the next 7 years:
🏀2023: The more favorable of ATL, CHA and BKN
The lone first they can trade is in 2029. https://t.co/fjBhB91dHc
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) October 31, 2022
The NBA’s investigation into the New York Knicks’ signing of Jalen Brunson is still ongoing, per Woj.