Just days after Jalen Brunson signed with the New York Knicks, Fred Katz of the Athletic reported that executives around the league expected the Knicks to be investigated for tampering with the recently acquired free agent guard. And it turned in to pretty big news pretty quickly. While there were plenty of rumors swirling, the NBA's silence on the matter meant it would stay exactly that, just rumors. Up until Monday, that is.
The NBA has begun an investigation into the New York Knicks for alleged tampering regarding free agent pickup Jalen Brunson, sources inform @YahooSports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 1, 2022
It is now being reported that the NBA was officially investigating the Knicks to see if they made contact with Brunson before they were allowed to. Besides the initial tampering reports, there were also reports last month that the Dallas Mavericks expressed their frustration in never being able to offer Brunson a contract. They also believed that his deal with the Knicks was pretty much a certainty before the free agency period began. The fact that the Knicks started dumping salary well before a deal was certain made things a bit more suspicious.
At the time, we thought that it could have just been the Mavericks looking to spin the narrative after losing their much improved guard for nothing. Teams are often accused of tampering with no real punishment. Unfortunately, it does seem that the league will formally be taking a look at the transaction to see if the Knicks did anything against the rules.
The Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat both recently lost a second-round pick as a result of an investigation involving deals for Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, respectively, so it is fair to assume that the Knicks will suffer the same fate if found guilty. With the Knicks front office's recent success in drafting and finding valuable assets later on in the draft, losing a second round pick will surely hurt but at the end of the day, even if they are found guilty, it is still a small price to pay for a 25-year-old point guard coming off of his best year.