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NBA looking into Knicks, 76ers for free agency tampering violations

It’s another offseason of potential tampering in the NBA.

2022 NBA Playoffs - Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Jalen Brunson of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles the ball during Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors on May 24, 2022 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA is looking into the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers for potential tampering violations in this offseason, according to Chris Haynes and Adrian Wojnarowski. The Knicks are under the microscope for their pursuit of Jalen Brunson, while the 76ers are being looked at for James Harden’s contract.

The Knicks likely made contact with Brunson ahead of June 30 and had a deal in place with him. New York assistant coach Rick Brunson is Jalen’s father and general manager Leon Rose negotiated Brunson’s rookie deal with the Mavericks, so there’s clearly some ties there. What’s more surprising is according to Haynes, the Knicks did not allow media to attend Brunson’s introductory press conference and only allowed in-house media members access.

On the Harden front, the 76ers guard opted out of his $47 million player option to allow the team to sign PJ Tucker and Danuel House with cap space. Harden eventually signed a new deal with the team for around $33 million, and the league is wondering if there’s a future contract in place for Harden to make up his earnings. There’s also a potential endorsement deal for Harden which could make up that money.

Last offseason, the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls were each found guilty of tampering when it came to the Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball signings, respectively. Both teams lost a second-round draft pick as part of the violations. The Milwaukee Bucks were also out a second-round pick in their pursuit of Bogdan Bogdanovic, although he ultimately didn’t sign with the team.