The NBA advances in the investigation of the acquisitions of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry


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The NBA advances in the investigation of the acquisitions of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry

The NBA investigation into possible pre-free agency manipulation focused on the signing-and-trade acquisitions of Chicago’s Lonzo Ball and Miami’s Kyle Lowry appears to have reached advanced stages, sources told ESPN on Friday.

The NBA has conducted numerous interviews with team executives and player agents and has collected emails from the head office executives of four teams – Chicago, New Orleans, Miami and Toronto – over the past three months, the sources said. The league could reveal its findings and any penalties in the near future.

ESPN reported Aug. 7 on the opening of the league’s investigation into whether illegal contacts and negotiations between teams and agents occurred prior to the opening of free agency on Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. ET.

The NBA instituted tougher penalties in these cases in 2019, including increasing the maximum fine for teams to $ 10 million and including the possibility of suspending team executives, losing draft picks and even voiding contracts. The possibility of contracts being annulled is the least likely scenario if punishment is applied.

Sign-and-trade deals are more complicated and time-consuming than typical free agent signings and often require a higher level of discussion and negotiation time to complete.

New Orleans has agreed to trade Ball, a restricted free agent, to Chicago on a four-year, $ 80 million deal for Garrett Temple on a new three-year, $ 15.5 million deal and guard Tomas Satoransky. Miami negotiated a three-year, $ 85 million deal with Lowry in the sign-and-trade deal that sent point guard Goran Dragic and forward Precious Achiuwa to the Raptors.

The Heat guaranteed Dragic’s $ 19.4 million team option Sunday, allowing them to use him in the sign-and-trade deal.

The Milwaukee Bucks lost a 2022 second-round pick to manipulating charges with Sacramento’s restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic in 2021. With the penalty, the NBA took into consideration that the Bucks did not ultimately acquire Bogdanovic as he eventually signed with the Atlanta Hawks.


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