NBA announces penalties for Lonzo Ball, Kyle Lowry tampering
The NBA has completed its tampering investigations regarding the deals involving Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, and the result was nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat will both have to forfeit their next available second-round draft pick, the NBA announced on Wednesday.
The NBA announces slap-on-the-wrist penalties for Chicago and Miami in the sign-and-trades it had been investigating since August involving Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry. Both teams only lose one second-round pick each. pic.twitter.com/b4a70zrHNO
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 1, 2021
That punishment is light considering the NBA could have fined the franchises up to $10 million each and handed out suspensions to team executives. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league told teams in a memo that the Bulls and Heat “fully cooperated with the investigations” and that their cooperation was taken into account.
Chicago acquired Ball in a sign-and-trade deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. The deal was reported almost immediately when the free agency legal tampering period began, though it wasn’t completed until Aug. 8.
The Heat acquired Lowry in a sign-and-trade deal with the Toronto Raptors. The deal was completed on Aug. 6 but Lowry announced an hour into free agency on Aug. 2 that he would be signing with Miami.
Sign-and-trade deals can be complex to pull off. So when the deals were reported so quickly, red flags apparently were raised for the league.
The NBA reviewed electronic messages from agents and team executives during their investigation. The Pelicans and Raptors were also investigated due to their involvement, but no punishment was announced for either team.
Photo: Mar 26, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball warms up before their game against the Denver Nuggets at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports