The first *official* week of NBA free agency is ending on a tumultuous note after news dropped that the Association will be investigating two acquisitions for possible infringement of the NBA’s tampering rules. The two deals at the center of the investigation will be the Chicago Bulls’ acquisition of point guard Lonzo Ball and the Miami Heat’s trade for veteran Kyle Lowry.
The breaking news, first reported by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, was announced by Adrian Wojnarowski, via Twitter:
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“The NBA has opened up investigations into possible tampering violations involving two sign-and-trade deals completed in free agency: New Orleans and Chicago centered on Lonzo Ball, and Toronto and Miami centered on Kyle Lowry. …”
Fans and members following free agency first began to suspect hints of tampering when firm reports of Lonzo Ball heading to the Chicago Bulls were announced prior to the start of the free agency period — taking a number of teams off his trail, including the Miami Heat.
Lonzo Ball went to the Windy City on a sign-and-trade agreement that sent Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple and a second-round pick to the Pelicans. Chicago signed Ball to a four-year, $85 million deal.
Understanding that Ball would be off the table, the Heat shifted their focus to veteran guard Kyle Lowry, whose connection to Jimmy Butler was cited as a motivating factor to join Miami.
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The 35-year-old Lowry, first drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008, departed from the Toronto Raptors after a sign-and-trade deal was announced — sending Lowry packing for South Beach in exchange for Goran Dragić and Precious Achiuwa.
Lowry’s deal with the Heat was announced as a three-year, $85 million agreement, which may now face a turbulent road ahead, alongside Zo’s deal, based on findings from the newly announced investigation.
Stick with OutKick as the investigation unravels to get the latest news and developments.