The Bulls acquired point guard Lonzo Ball via a sign and trade just minutes after free agency opened up. While that excited Bulls fans it made the league mighty suspicious about the deal. Since the acquisition of Ball, the league has been investigating the Chicago Bulls to see if this deal was already made ahead of free agency officially opening. The league has been quiet about this since the investigation started but rumors are starting to come out about how the league will approach this. Unfortunately for the Bulls, the league is likely going to hand down a severe punishment.

The league hasn’t handed down any major punishments in the past for tampering but it looks like they want to make an example of the Bulls. It was rumored in the past the NBA may try and take away a first-round pick from the Bulls and now it’s looking more likely. This would be a huge blow for the Bulls or any team for that matter. In the past tampering, penalties have just been fines but apparently, the NBA thinks it’s time for a more severe penalty. The question here is did the Bulls actually tamper?

We can point the finger at Rich Paul

Here’s the thing, the Bulls were trying to get Lonzo Ball at the trade deadline last season. So the deal was already in the works from the previous season and was then put on hold. Fast forward to free agency and the Bulls already knew Lonzo was the #1 target. So it’s only natural that the Bulls had a deal in mind when they gave the Pelicans a call. However, the issue comes with Lonzo’s agent Rich Paul. Apparently, Rich Paul wanted this news posted as soon as free agency opened and that’s what put the Bulls in this terrible position.

Instead of trusting Adrian Wojnarowski who has done this time and time again, Paul reached out to Shams Charania who tweeted it almost immediately. Due to this, the league began investigating if the Bulls had this deal in place prior to free agency opening. It’s very likely this deal was discussed before free agency opened up but this is something that happens all over the league with virtually every single team. For some unknown reason, the league decided now was the time to make an example out of a tampering team. Right when the Bulls become relevant again the league wants to do whatever they can to make them worse.

This impact could be huge

If the Bulls lose a first-round pick that’s going to be a huge loss. Whether that pick would be to bring in another new face or trade for a new player the Bulls will lose it. The Bulls are in a great position heading into this season and if the season is successful that first-round pick could be used to add another key young piece to learn from the team. But it’s looking more and more like that won’t ever come to fruition. The Bulls are going to lose a lot simply because the NBA thinks they need to make an example of a team for doing something everyone does.

We must now wait and see what the NBA decides to hand down to the Bulls which likely will come out soon.

Adam Silver holds the Bulls future in his hands

The Bulls are finally back to being relevant and the NBA wants to do whatever they can to impact them. It’s unfortunate that Lonzo’s agent couldn’t have just waited an hour into free agency before letting the news break. He is likely going to cost the Bulls a first-round draft pick because he couldn’t wait. Adam Silver now has a huge decision to make. It sounds like they want to make an example of a team for no apparent reason and the Bulls are in their crosshairs. Hopefully, he has a change of heart and just fines them instead of taking a draft pick away. We should hear more on this in the very near future as the season is starting soon. Every single team tampers but the Bulls get to be made an example of. The Bulls won’t let this bring them down as they head into the most anticipated season in recent history.

Lifelong Chicago sports fan raised in Las Vegas. Purdue University graduate. An engineer by trade, Bulls superfan by choice.