Sixers under investigation for tampering in James Harden's contract extension

2022-07-30 01:32
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has opened an investigation into the Philadelphia 76ers for possible tampering and early contact centered on the franchise's signings in the free agency - James Harden, P.J. Tucker and Danuel House, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Per the same report, the league is looking at the possibility of the Sixers tampering on Harden.

The Philadelphia 76ers brought in PJ Tucker on a deal about a minute into free agency on June 30. Philadelphia had been linked to Tucker due to his obvious connections to James Harden and president Daryl Morey and the two sides got things done quickly.

P.J. Tucker

P.J.  Tucker
Position: SF, SG
Age: 37
Height: 198 cm
Weight: 102 kg
Birth place: United States of America

Due to the nature of how fast things got done, there were thoughts around the league that the NBA office would do its own investigation on the Sixers for those moves.

Harden declined his $47 million player option with the team and instead took less salary (a $15 million pay cut) to allow the team to sign Tucker and House.

The league will not only do an investigation on the Tucker signing, but the Harden re-signing as well as bringing in Danuel House Jr. on a deal. The league is suspicious as to why Harden would take such a big pay cut to free up that financial flexibility if he and the Sixers didn’t know that Tucker would join the team. Some in the league believe that the Sixers and Harden have already agreed on a future deal, which is against the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and the NBA. 

Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has already begun answering questions from league attorneys, per ESPN's report. The investigation is expected to include interviews with team personnel and the organization turning over electronic correspondence and phone records to league investigators. Teams weren't allowed to have conversations with agents or players on free agency deals prior to the opening of free agency at 6 p.m. ET on June 30.

This marks the second offseason in a row in which the NBA will open a high-profile tampering case, as the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls were investigated last year for the circumstances under which they acquired Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball. Both teams lost a second-round pick as a result of the investigation.



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