Let's be honest for a second here. The NBA's tampering policy is a joke. And not because of the rules or what it stands for but because of the lack of consistency on which the punishments are enforced. If not, just ask the Miami Heat or the Chicago Bulls.
Just a couple of minutes into free agency, and we already had Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania reporting on players agreeing to multi-year deals. Unless they can hear a team's pitch, read and sign a contract, and leak it to the media in 15 seconds, it's obvious that those deals were already agreed upon beforehand.
That's why the league is reportedly set to investigate the Bulls and Heat for their sign-and-trades with Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, respectively. But, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Heat could be on the clear because they had already tried to trade for Lowry this year.
The Heat Can't Be Punished For Kyle Lowry's Deal
"At the time, the Raptors laid out potential parameters for a trade, an NBA source confirmed to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, with it also clear at the time what the financial parameters would be to sign Lowry in free agency. Lowry ultimately agreed to a three-year, $85 million contract that starts at $27 million this coming season," stated the report.
"Aware of those parameters, the Heat last Sunday picked up the 2021-22 $19.4 million team option on the contract of veteran guard Goran Dragic, with that contract along with the contract of neophyte center Precious Achiuwa utilized as matching salaries for the Lowry acquisition," added Winderman.
The league hasn't done anything to enforce punishments for tampering. They took a second-round pick away from the Milwaukee Bucks last year over the Bogdan Bogdanovic fiasco, but not more than that.
Should the Bulls and/or Heat be punished, they'd have to forfeit picks, pay a big fine, and they could even void the contracts. But that's just not going to happen. Maybe it's just time we put an end to this charade.