The Chicago Bulls paid $85 million to land Lonzo Ball this offseason, but that’s not all the point guard is going to cost them. The League Office on Wednesday found that the Bulls violated its tampering policy in their recruitment of Ball.

Chicago was also forced to forfeit a second-round draft pick in the 2022 NBA draft after a four-month NBA investigation. Also caught up in the probe was Miami Heat. The Miami Heat also forfeited a second-round pick for their involvement in a similar deal to acquire Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors.

The Bulls released a short statement following the announcement from the league. “The Chicago Bulls cooperated completely with the league in its investigation,” the statement read. “We are glad this process has concluded and look forward to the rest of our season.”

The Heat were less receptive to the decision, releasing a statement that read, “While we disagree, we accept the league’s decision. We are moving on with our season.”

Cooperation might have been key to limiting both teams’ punishment from the league. Here Tampering refers to contact between free-agent players and NBA teams outside of the free-agency period, which began Aug. 2 this year. Punishments for tampering charges can be steep, particularly after the league bulked up its enforcement policies in 2019.

All things considered, Chicago got off easy. Tampering to the degree the Bulls engaged in it is not something foreign to the league. It happens every single offseason in multiple cases as one of the worst-kept secrets in the contemporary NBA. The teams need to understand this kind of behavior tarnishes both the organization and the NBA’s credibility.

Anirban Biswas

An Avid Writer And A Songwriter-Composer Who Is No Alien To The Creative Side Of Life. I Set No Boundaries For Myself When It Comes To Exploring Opportunities And Going For It. Always Looking For Opportunities To Grow With Others.

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