Duh: NBA Reportedly Opens Tampering Investigation on the Knicks for Jalen Brunson Signing
Phew. I was getting worried there for a second.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, the NBA has officially opened a tampering investigation into the New York Knicks over the Jalen Brunson signing. The 25-year-old points guard inked a four-year, $104 million deal with the franchise this offseason.
As Haynes notes, the league will look into whether or not the Knicks “made contact with Jalen Brunson prior to the start of the free agency period.” If the answer to that question isn’t a big fat “DUH,” then I truly don’t understand what tampering is.
The Knicks’ pursuit of Brunson was arguably the most blatant display of league tampering we’ve seen in a handful of years. Not only were reports of his deal surfacing several days prior to the start of free agency on June 30, but the Knicks couldn’t have been less discrete about their intentions to pry him away from Dallas.
Executive William “World Wide Wes” Wesley was spotted at a Mavericks playoff game, and the team also hired Brunson’s father to the organization back in June. Not to mention, the trade of Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks to the Detroit Pistons was clearly a means to open up the proper cap space for Brunson. Everyone, their mother, and their mother’s mother knew that Brunson was headed out East, which is why shortly following the opening of free agency, the reported expectation around the league was that the NBA would open this investigation.
All we can do now is wait to see what the penalty will be (because I simply can’t see a world where they do not receive one). The Chicago Bulls saw themselves stripped of a second-round pick due to the Lonzo Ball situation last offseason, so I think we have to assume that is the minimum penalty. In my opinion, the Brunson thing seems egregious enough to stir up first-round pick conversations, but I doubt the NBA goes that far. My best guess for now is a second-rounder and a hefty fine.