NBA investigating Philadelphia 76ers for possible tampering centered on James Harden, P.J. Tucker, Danuel House deals


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The NBA has opened an investigation into the Philadelphia 76ers for possible tampering and early contact centered on the franchise's summer free agency class of James Harden, P.J. Tucker and Danuel House, sources told ESPN on Friday.

One of the central elements of the league's inquiry includes questions on Harden's decision to decline a $47.4 million player option for 2022-23 and take a pay cut on a new two-year, $68 million deal, sources said. Around the league, there have been questions about whether there is already a handshake agreement in place on a future contract -- which would be in violation of collective bargaining rules.


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The NBA’s tampering investigation into the Sixers is a joke

The league’s selective enforcement of its tampering rules could have the Sixers in hot water, but should they be?

After their draft-night acquisition of De’Anthony Melton, the Sixers would have had roughly $151.7 million committed to 13 players if Harden opted in. Although the salary cap and luxury-tax threshold both came in slightly higher than expected—nearly $123.7 million and $150.3 million rather than $122 million and $149 million, respectively—they would have been only $5.3 million below the apron. That means the Sixers would have needed to shed $5.2 million to gain access to the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception (which they used to sign to Tucker) and an additional $4.1 million to get access to the bi-annual exception (which they used on House).

None of this was hard to foresee. In the weeks leading up to free agency, it was clear that Harden opting out and re-signing for less than his max salary would give the Sixers more financial flexibility to round out their roster. Otherwise, they would have been limited to the $6.5 million taxpayer mid-level exception, which likely would have taken them out of the running for Tucker.

In mid-July, Harden explained that he declined his player option and took $14.4 million less for next season specifically so the Sixers could add more help around him and Joel Embiid.


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Zzz Ok GIF by Jim Gaffigan

Can we do away with the "tampering" crap?? I mean seriously, we play this game like all these teams / schools are on the up and up and integrity is involved. That went out the window when owners and school presidents started chasing the money.

The Sixers will get told to stop that, pay a minimal fine that would bankrupt any of us individually, but it's chump change for them and they'll keep doing it. Just nonsense.


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My position is that getting James Harden on your team is enough punishment in and of itself.

Daryl Morey's man-love for Harden is ridiculous.