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#pounditWednesday, September 28, 2022

Knicks could face steeper-than-usual penalty in Jalen Brunson tampering case?

Jalen Brunson talks with the media

May 18, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13) participates in a press conference after game one of the 2022 western conference finals against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks could be about to become the “I’ve won but at what cost?” meme.

Fred Katz of The Athletic said this week on “The Athletic NBA Show” that the Knicks could get a harsher-than-normal penalty for allegedly tampering with free agent signee Jalen Brunson. Namely, the Knicks may be docked a first-round pick instead of the usual second-rounder, Katz says.

“[Forfeiture of a second-round pick is] just what [the NBA] decided in those moments [of tampering involving other teams],” said Katz, per NBC Sports. “If they find evidence of tampering that they believe to be particularly egregious, they are down to go with a harsher penalty.”

The NBA has officially opened a tampering probe into the Knicks’ signing of Brunson, who agreed to a four-year, $110 million deal with the team earlier this summer. Free agency officially began at the end of June, but the Knicks hired Brunson’s father Rick as an assistant many weeks prior to that. They also showed up in the front row of a Brunson playoff game back in April. Nothing about their pursuit of Brunson was subtle.

Two other East teams were stripped of second-round picks after tampering investigations last summer. But the door appears to be open for the Knicks to potentially lose a first-rounder here, which would hurt a lot more.

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