Considering any business discussions between teams and players could not legally go down before the free agency period began on the afternoon of June 30, some quick signings at the opening of free agency led the league to launch an investigation on multiple teams, including the Sixers.
The Sixers inked Tucker to a three-way deal in the opening minutes of free agency. In the weeks leading up to free agency, Tucker was frequently linked to Philadelphia after he declined a player option attached to his contract with the Heat.
While Tucker’s connection to Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey and the team’s starting guard James Harden made it apparent he could land in Philly for a reunion; it was the timing of Tucker’s official decision that made NBA Commissioner Adam Silver suspicious.
On Wednesday, the Commissioner was asked about the investigation once again. Silver confirmed that everything is still ongoing at this time. However, Silver anticipates the league will conclude its investigation in the coming weeks.
“The statuses of those investigations are ongoing,” said Silver during an NBA Board of Governors press conference. “Hopefully, they’ll be wrapped up in the next few weeks.”
The New York Knicks are another team under fire for the same reasons. As former Dallas Mavericks standout Jalen Brunson inked a deal in the opening minutes of free agency, the move was a red flag for the league.
“I think what prompted [the investigations] was sort of just the tick-tock chronology around sort of when signings are permissible and the announcements of those signings and the information that came out about them,” Silver continued. “[That] was cause for the league office to investigate.”
Last season, the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls were in a similar situation as the Knicks and the Sixers as they were red-flagged for possible tampering in the pursuits of Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball.
The investigations lasted several months before the league concluded that both organizations did, in fact, tamper to acquire the high-end free agents. As a result, the Bulls and the Heat were each docked a second-round draft pick.
It’s unclear what kind of punishment the Sixers and the Knicks are facing at this time, but if the league finds evidence of tampering in the pursuits of Tucker and Brunson, both Eastern Conference competitors could lose draft picks.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.