The NBA made its decision on Wednesday regarding its tampering investigation involving the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat. After months of speculation, the Bulls and Heat can move forward from this.
Both teams forfeited their next available second-round picks as a result of the findings as reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The investigation was in regards to the sign and trade deals of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry.
ESPN Sources: The NBA will make Chicago and Miami forfeit their next available second-round draft pick over findings in probe into early contact in summer free agency. Probe was centered on Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry sign and trades.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 1, 2021
The Bulls had been connected to Lonzo Ball’s name for quite some time, dating back to when Jon Paxson was in charge of the team. It was no shock when Ball ultimately chose to come to Chicago.
The Bulls released a statement following the league’s decision Wednesday.
“We are glad this process has concluded and look forward to the rest of our season.”
The Miami Heat also made a brief statement on the decision.
“While we disagree, we accept the league’s decision.”
The investigation involved the four teams in the sign and trades this past summer — Chicago, New Orleans, Toronto, and Miami. The league conducted multiple interviews over the span of months to obtain information. The main details were to find any illegal communication prior to the opening of Free Agency on Aug 2. at 6 PM ET.
The NBA began its investigation back on Aug. 7.
The deal between Chicago involved point guard Lonzo Ball for guards Garrett Temple and Tomas Satoransky. Ball received a four-year $80 million dollar contract while Temple received a three-year $15 million dollar extension.
Miami’s deal included point guard Goran Dragic and forward Precious Achiuwa in exchange for point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry received a three-year $85 million deal.
How It Affects Chicago
This is not a decision that will greatly affect the Bulls in the immediate. Arturas Karnisovas has proven to do a lot of damage in later parts of the draft but this is not a death sentence by any means.
As far as perception around the league, this should not change very much. Tampering is very much an unwritten rule around the league that players and occasionally executives will speak to whoever they please. Where conversations veer in non-negotiation times is a gray area that is hard to pinpoint.
The league failed to bring down any sort of example-setting punishment threatened earlier in the year. Penalizing teams with the loss of a second-round pick amounts to a slap on the wrist ultimately. There’s yet to be a precedent set by a punishment handed down by Adam Silver but that could be nearing soon.
Now that the investigation is out of the way, the Bulls can focus on basketball again organizationally.