Los Angeles Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank is confident in the approach his team took to pursue Kawhi Leonard during free agency this offseason, he said on Wednesday.
During a press conference officially introducing Leonard and Paul George as the Clippers' newest members, Frank addressed Los Angeles's pursuit of Leonard and the NBA's ongoing tampering investigation.
"We didn't recruit. What we did was, we went to many games to scout and research," Frank said, according to the Washington Post's Ben Golliver. "We never had a conversation with Kawhi or with any of his people. We always felt by doing it out in front we were being very, very transparent. We weren't doing anything behind the scenes."
According to ESPN's Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst, the NBA is currently looking into the free agency process and player-to-player tampering after hearing concerns about how it operated this summer when the likes of Leonard, Kyrie Irving,Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and others were on the market. With several deals being completed within hours of the official start of free agency on June 30, the belief is that tampering rules may have been violated prior to the official window opening.
"We know the rules. We follow the rules," Frank said. "We feel very, very good about how we did everything. With [owner] Steve [Ballmer], in terms of how he does business, his integrity is number one. We are always going to be above the line. That's what we did. Are we going to be aggressive? Yes. Are we going to be transparent? Yes. Are we going to follow the rules? 100%."
The NBA reserves the right to punish teams for breaking league rules during free agency. Even if no punishments are inflicted, the information gathered could also lead to rule changes to the free-agency system in the future.
The scope of the investigation has not yet been determined and there is no timetable for when it will be concluded.