Basketball

NBA investigates contracts signed by James Harden and PJ Tucker

I Philadelphia 76ers ended up at the center of an investigation for tampering: The NBA in the past few hours has indeed begun to study the franchise’s moves in the offseason, particularly the renewal of James Harden and the signatures of PJ Tucker and Danuel House. The tampering is a practice that consists of “illegal” contacts between players and teams, when perhaps the former are still under contract with other franchises. Such is the case with Tucker, who even before free agency began was known to be leaving Miami for Philadelphia.

Tucker’s signing then had a direct link to Harden’s renewal. The three-year, $33 million total of the former Miami was only possible because of the waiver of the Beard, who turned down a $47 million player option to sign a 1+1 that will earn him “only” $33 million next season, a full $14 million less. According to some rumors, Harden already has an agreement with the Sixers for another renewal next season, this time at much higher figures. If so, it would be another violation of the rules.

What are the Sixers facing? Certainly a hefty fine; in the past, executives such as Magic Johnson (in his Lakers days) have had to pay fines for the tampering. But Philadelphia may also have to say goodbye to a second-round pick in the 2023 Draft, as happened with last June’s Chicago and Milwaukee following another affair of tampering. There were in fact 58 picks and not 60. In extreme cases, there is also contract cancellation or suspension for the players involved (a suspension of James Harden would certainly be heavy).

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