The NBA completed an investigation into the signings of free agent guards Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry on Wednesday. The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat will be forced to forfeit their next second-round picks as a result of tampering during the free agency period in deals for Ball and Lowry, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The NBA isn’t calling this a tampering investigation, but it’s basically that. It wasn’t involving a player under contract with another team, rather the two teams negotiating with player representation prior to August 2nd, the allowed date.
Here’s the NBA’s ruling on the Lonzo Ball tampering investigation. pic.twitter.com/GF8Jhe4xIC— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) December 1, 2021
This may not affect the Bulls all that much for several drafts. Chicago has traded away second-round picks through the 2025 draft. The Heat don’t have a second-round pick it appears through the 2027 draft. Both the Ball and Lowry deals were executed via sign-and-trade, which may have had something to do with the tampering.
Both deals have worked out well for the respective franchises. Ball has been one of the better perimeter defenders in the NBA and the Bulls are 14-8, entering Wednesday in second place in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are 13-8 and right behind the Bulls in the standings in third place. Lowry has provided stability at the PG position and Miami will be in contention come playoff time.