The NBA has completed an investigation into the handling of Kyle Lori’s signing and trade deals with the Miami Heat and Lonzo Paul Chicago Bulls. As the league announced Wednesday, both teams will miss their next second-round pick penalty.
In its investigation, the NBA concluded that both teams were engaged in illegal negotiations with Lori and Paul’s representatives ahead of the Free Agency’s official negotiations window on August 2. Both Miami and Chicago are cooperating in the investigation.
Since both teams in the trade have been given their own future second-round picks, the penalty may take some time to come into effect. However, Miami could get a worse second-round pick from the Sixers or Knuckles in 2022 if they reach the playoffs. Then they have to hand them over. Chicago could get the Nuggets’ top 46 protected pick in 2023, which they will miss.
Heath responded to the sentence in a statement: “Although we do not agree with the conclusion, we accept it.” Meanwhile, the Bulls were very cautious: “We’m glad this process is over, and we look forward to it throughout our season.”
During the investigation, the NBA team conducted several interviews with executives and player agents, as well as reviewing electronic messages from four front offices in Chicago, New Orleans, Miami and Toronto.
Signing and trading is usually considered more complicated because these agreements require the approval of both teams and the player. Nonetheless, just minutes after the free agency officially launched, the related deals with Lori and the ball became known, which came as a surprise.
Lori signed a three-year $ 85 million contract in Toronto that immediately traded on the South Coast to Goran Trojik and Precious Achilles. In exchange for Garrett Temple and Tomas Sodoranski, the Pelicans passed the ball, which had signed a four-year $ 80 million contract with Chicago, and sent it to the bulls in the second round.
After the 2020 season, Milwaukee Bucks received a similar penalty for breaking a failed contract with banned free agent Bokton Boktanovic. It ended with the Atlanta Hawks.