For weeks, there’ve been whispers that the NBA was about to smack fire out of the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat for tampering allegations with regard to their offseason sign-and-trade deals for Kyle Lowry (not to be confused with Mike) and Lonzo Ball. But because the league is full of shit, and apparently has no desire to truly deter teams from negotiating deals with agents prior to the start of free agency, ESPN reports that the league just doled out some half-ass punishments to the offending parties:
After a four-month investigation, the NBA has punished the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat with the loss of second-round draft picks because of premature discussions into the free agency of guards Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, the league announced Wednesday.
Chicago and Miami will lose their next available second-round pick after the league concluded that the teams had impermissible discussions with representatives of the players ahead of the opening of free agency on Aug. 2. In a memo to teams obtained by ESPN, the league said, “Both teams fully cooperated with the investigations,” which was a factor in the penalties.
As long as the Heat make the playoffs this season, they will lose the lesser of a 2022 Philadelphia/Denver second-round pick.
Considering second-round picks rarely amount to being worth a damn, this is basically like Ja Rule announcing a new album: Nobody gives a shit.
Don’t believe me? Look at these extremely succinct statements that the Heat and Bulls released in response to the league’s “ruthless” penalties:
In a statement, the Heat said, “While we disagree, we accept the league’s decision.”
The Bulls released a statement, saying: “We are glad this process has concluded and look forward to the rest of our season.”
If you laughed out loud reading those, you aren’t alone. Because I sure as hell did the exact same thing.
If the league was trying to deliver a message that this type of underhanded, conniving misconduct (that was sarcasm, by the way) won’t be tolerated, they couldn’t have done a worse job. Hell, I bet the Clippers are on the phone with Bradley Beal right now trying to lure him to L.A. next summer with a buy one, get one free dispensary coupon and BTS tickets. I mean, why not? What’s the worst that could happen? They forfeit the 57th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft? The horror!
Plus, there’s this pertinent piece of information, courtesy of NBA insider John Hollinger:
The NBA is goofy as hell for this.
Better luck next time.