The NBA is currently investigating both the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls for tampering with their offseason sign-and-trade acquisitions of Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball, respectively.
NBA Tampering Rule
The NBA's tampering rules are designed to prevent teams from tampering, specifically centered around the acquisition of players.
What is Tampering in the NBA?
According to official league rules players, owners, coaches, executives or any other members of an organization are prohibited from luring players of a different franchise to change their teams.
The NBA investigates potential tampering situations and can hand down penalties if actions are deemed as illegal contact or negotiation.
What is the NBA Tampering Rule?
This complex rule is very difficult to enforce given the off-court friendships held by virtually every player across the league.
Some potential penalties for tampering violations include a maximum of $10 million in fines, suspension of team executives, or the contract of a specific deal being voided (in the most extreme cases).
The league has placed an emphasis on cracking down on tampering violations in recent years, however, this is a difficult rule violation to specifically assess because of the nature of management-player-agent discussions during potential deals.
Chicago Bulls Tampering
Both the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans are being investigated for Chicago's acquisition of Lonzo Ball. The league launched an initial probe into this deal on Aug. 7 and plans to reveal its findings in the "near future."
Miami Heat Tampering
The Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors are also being investigated for Miami's acquisition of Kyle Lowry. This investigation probe was also launched on Aug. 7 while the league has "conducted numerous interviews" and gathered electronic messages for the front office executives involved.
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