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NBA Fines Lakers $500,000 for Violating Anti-Tampering Rule

The Lakers’ fine pertains to communication between GM Rob Pelinka and Paul George’s agent.

The NBA announced Thursday that the Los Angeles Lakers have been fined $500,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule following communication between general manager Rob Pelinka and Paul George’s agent.

The league announced earlier this month that it would conduct an independent investigation into the matter, at the behest of George’s former team, the Pacers. They found that Pelinka, who was a high-profile basketball agent until his hiring by the Lakers, constituted a “prohibited expression of interest” while George was under contract. George is represented by Aaron Mintz (who was not explicitly named in the statement).

The investigation did not turn up evidence that there was an agreement between the Lakers and George’s camp. George was traded to the Thunder this summer for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis after letting the Pacers know he planned to test free agency next year.

“We respect and accept the NBA’s decision regarding this matter,” Pelinka said in a statement. “On behalf of the Los Angeles Lakers, I want to express our regret over this unfortunate incident to both our fans and the NBA.”

Notably, the announcement does not pertaint to Lakers president Magic Johnson other than noting that he was warned following an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel in April, in which he alluded to George.

George, 27, is a four-time All-Star and will be a free agent in July 2018. He is a native of Los Angeles.