Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors

NBA investigating Heat, Bulls for tampering in Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball deals

The NBA is investigating potential tampering from the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls for their respective deals for Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball.

Once the NBA free agency negotiation window opened up last Monday, two of the biggest point guards on both the unrestricted and restricted markets quickly flew off the board. The Chicago Bulls secured a deal with Lonzo Ball, while the Miami Heat agreed to terms with Kyle Lowry. If you thought the deals were done in a surprisingly quick manner, so does the NBA.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the NBA opened investigations into the Bulls and Heat’s acquisitions of Ball and Lowry to see if there was potential tampering. The investigation will, per Wojnarowski and Shelburne, “examine illegal contact among teams and players ahead of the opening of NBA free agency on Monday at 6 p.m. ET.”

NBA investigating Heat, Bulls for potential tampering violations

So what kind of reprimand are the Heat and Bulls facing if they are found to be guilty of tampering? Well, the maximum fine each team could face is worth $10 million. Additionally, they can lose draft picks, executives could face suspension, and the contracts could be voided.

The Bulls completed their sign-and-trade deal with the New Orleans Pelicans for Ball shortly after free agency opened up. Chicago sent Garrett Temple, Tomas Satoransky and a future second-round draft pick to New Orleans in exchange for Ball. The Bulls then signed the guard to a four-year, $85 million contract.

As for the Heat, they agreed to trade Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Lowry, who signed a three-year, $90 million deal with the team.

This investigation will be one to follow, especially since both the Bulls and Heat were in need of point guards entering this offseason. Now, it will remain to be seen if they are found guilty of tampering, and what punishment they will be facing.

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