NBA Investigating Knicks for Tampering

The NBA has started an investigation into the New York Knicks, with claims of tampering. According to Chris Haynes, this is in regard to the offseason signing of player Jalen Brunson, son of Rick Brunson. On the starting day of free agency, the team signed him for a four-year contract worth $104 million, with the
NBA spreads for the team also being very favorable. Now, the NBA is investigating whether the team contacted the player before free agency started.

Knicks’ Interest in Brunson Prior to Free Agency

Reports state that the New York Knicks have been interested in Brunson for a long time before free agency started. Brunson, who previously played for the Dallas Mavericks, was seen as a Knicks’ favorite in the days that led to the June 30th start date of free agency. This could partially be due to his familial ties with the Knicks’ franchise.

The Hiring of Rick Brunson and Leon Rose

Coincidentally, the team hired Brunson’s father, Rick Brunson, as an assistant coach just a few weeks prior to free agency starting. In addition, Leon Rose, the General Manager for the New York Knicks, acted as an agent for Jalen before he took up a role in the front office. Not to mention, both the Brunsons and the Roses have been close friends for decades. From the friendship between Rick Brunson and Leon Rose to that between Jalen Brunson and Rose’s daughter, fans say that they should have seen this coming. 

Free agency started on June 30, and it was reported that the young player would meet with the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks. However, the Mavericks said that they didn’t get a formal meeting, and so Brunson ended up signing with the New York team. Of course, the close relationship between the families doesn’t serve as evidence of tampering, so the league continues to gather evidence.

Proof of Tampering

Although the investigation is still ongoing, the timeline so far shows that there was a report published a night before free agency started, mentioning a meeting between Brunson and different teams. Later, the report was proven false because he didn’t mean with Miami or Dallas, proving to fans that he would join New York. In addition, news that Jalen Brunson had signed with the New York Knicks became public even before teams were allowed to have formal meetings with free agents. 

Because of the controversy, the Knicks and Mavericks are now on bad terms. The Mavericks were displeased with the attendance of three Knicks’ players in the Mavericks’ game against the Utah Jazz. This small feud has also affected the NBA odds. However, as per the league’s policies, players can’t be punished for attending a game.

Knicks’ to Face Consequences for Tampering

In summer 2021, teams Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat had to surrender their second-round picks after it was found by the League that they had tampered with signing Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball. In 2020, a similar occurrence affected the Milwaukee Bucks, after the league investigated and found that the team had been tampering when it continued with the signing of Bogdan Bogdanovick. If NBA proves that the Knicks were involved in tampering, they could face the loss of draft picks, which could put them in line for a tough season. If not the loss of draft picks, they could face heavy fines, which could affect NBA betting lines.

Still a Win for the Knicks

But even if the Knicks lose a second-round pick, it’s a small price to pay considering they will get the point guard that they’ve had eyes on for a long time. Last season, Jalen Brunson helped the Dallas Mavericks reach the Western Conference finals. And considering the first round he played against the Utah Jazz, he’s definitely ready for a bigger role. 

During his time with the team so far, Brunson has played without Luka Doncic in three matches against the Utah Jazz. He had an average of 32 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. He’s a high-performing point guard who never turns the ball over. He can also prepare an offense when the team needs it, which is something New York was lacking. 

So even if the Knicks lose a draft pick, it’s a minor setback if Brunson can work his magic and help the team reach the playoffs.