Considering that any trade talks between teams and players could not legally take place before the start of the free agency period on the afternoon of June 30, a few quick signings when free agency opened led to the league to launch an investigation into several teams, including the Sixers.
The Sixers signed Tucker to a three-way deal in the opening minutes of free agency. In the weeks leading up to free agency, Tucker was frequently linked with Philadelphia after turning down a player option attached to his contract with the Heat.
While Tucker’s connection to Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and the team’s starting guard James Harden showed he could land in Philadelphia for a reunion; it was the moment of Tucker’s official decision that made NBA commissioner Adam Silver suspicious.
On Wednesday, the commissioner was again questioned about the investigation. Silver confirmed that everything is still ongoing at this time. However, Silver expects the league to conclude its investigation in the coming weeks.
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“The status of those investigations is ongoing,” Silver said at an NBA Board of Governors press conference. “I hope they will be finished in the next few weeks.”
The New York Knicks are another team under fire for the same reasons. As old Dallas Mavericks standout Jalen Brunson signed a deal within the opening minutes of free agency, the move was a red flag for the league.
“I think what prompted [the investigations] was kind of just the timeline ticking around when signatures are cleared and the announcements of those signatures and the information that came out of it,” Silver continued. “[That] was a reason for the league office to investigate.
Investigations spanned several months before the league concluded that the two organizations did, in fact, tamper to acquire the high-end free agents. As a result, the Bulls and Heat were each docked with a second-round draft pick.
It’s unclear what kind of punishment the Sixers and Knicks face right now, but if the league finds evidence of tampering in Tucker and Brunson’s lawsuits, the two Eastern Conference contenders could lose some money. draft pick.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.