The NBA is investigating potential tampering violations involving the sign-and-trade deals involving the Bulls' acquisition of Lonzo Ball and the Heat's deal for Kyle Lowry, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The probe will investigate "illegal contact among teams and players ahead of the opening of free agency on Monday at 6 p.m. ET," per the report. Team executives, agents and players involved have been notified of the investigation.
The Pelicans traded Ball to Chicago on a four-year deal worth $85 million for wing Garrett Temple on his new three-year, $15.5 million contract and guard Tomas Satoransky, per ESPN. But the deal hasn't been finalized yet and is subject to change, according to Wojnarowski.
Miami sent guard Goran Dragić and forward Precious Achiuwa to the Raptors in exchange for Lowry, who got a three-year, $85 million deal with the sign-and-trade.
There was no mention of specific violations or instances that the NBA is examining. But penalties for sign-and-trade violations were elevated in 2019, raising the maximum fine for teams to $10 million. Other penalties include the suspension of team executives, forfeiting of draft picks and voiding of contracts.
As part of the investigation, team executives can have their telephone records, text messages and emails randomly audited.
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