The NBA closed its months-long investigation for free agency discussions and it resulted in a pair of draft picks being stripped from the franchise.
“The NBA has taken away the 76ers‘ second round picks in 2023 and 2024 for early free agency discussions last offseason,” The Athletic insider Shams Charania tweeted. “The league’s investigation found no wrongdoing in James Harden’s near $15 million pay cut last summer – but findings showed that the 76ers made early free agency discussions with Danuel House Jr. and PJ Tucker, NBA says.”
The 76ers now have just two tradeable second-round picks after dealing almost all of their future assets in previous deals. They have the more favorable pick of the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Brooklyn Nets in the 2023 draft and their own in the 2029 draft. Philadelphia also currently holds onto its own 2029 first-round selection.
This is the harshest punishment any team has had over tampering during free agency, and it doesn’t appear like the consequences will ease up anytime soon.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted: “The NBA and NBPA are expected to revisit the rules that punish teams discovered to have had discussions with player agents on pending free agents ahead of free agency’s official start, sources said. The practice is rampant, but hard to police and largely impossible to eliminate.”
With the Portland Trail Blazers and the other 29 teams adapting, so too will the league in determining what is fair and what is not.