Hope it was worth it. That’s what fans of the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat are saying after the NBA completed its investigation.
It took 4-months, but the NBA has decided to punish both the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat by taking away second-round draft picks. The league came to its decision on Wednesday (Dec.1) after it determined both teams held premature discussions with Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry.
ESPN reports the Bulls and Heat will lose their next available second-round pick after the NBA concluded both teams had forbidden conversations with representatives of both players ahead of free agency on Aug. 2. A memo obtained by the Disney-owned sports network revealed that “Both teams fully cooperated with the investigations,” a factor that helped the league determine its course of action.
If the Heat manages to make the playoffs, they will “lose lesser of a 2022 Philadelphia or Denver second-round pick,” ESPN further reports. In a statement, the Bulls expressed relief the investigation has wrapped, saying, “We are glad this process has concluded and look forward to the rest of our season.”
Over the past four months, the NBA spoke with team executives and player agents and acquired electronic communications from front-office executives of four teams, Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, and Toronto. ESPN first reported on the news about the NBA looking into the teams and whether they had improper communications with Ball and Lowry ahead of free agency on Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. ET.
The Miami Heat acquired Kyle Lowry after negotiating a three-year, sign-and-trade $85 million deal that sent guard Goran Dragic and forward Precious Achiuwa to the Raptors. Before the deal was finalized by the Heat guaranteed Dragic’s $19.4 million team option giving them the ability to use him in the sign-and-trade agreement.
The New Orleans Pelicans agreed to trade Lonzo Ball, a restricted free agent at the time, on a four-year, $80 million contract for Garrett Temple on a new three-year, $15.5 million contract, and guard Tomas Satoransky.
Both the Bulls and Heat are reaping the rewards of their latest acquisitions this season. We shall see if they were both worth losing a draft pick over.
Photo: Douglas P. DeFelice / Getty