The NBA is investigating the Knicks for potential tampering in the recent signing of Jalen Brunson, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports.
Brunson and the Knicks agreed to a four-year deal worth $104 million shortly after free agency opened on June 30. The Knicks had long been seen as favorites to sign Brunson, who averaged 16 points, five assists and four rebounds playing alongside Luka Doncic with the Mavericks last season.
The report said the league now is looking into whether the Knicks made contact with Brunson before the free-agent period began. The Knicks hired his father, Rick Brunson, as a coach on June 2. Jalen Brunson is also represented by the son of Knicks president Leon Rose. The team spent the weeks leading up to free agency creating cap space for a max contract offer by trading Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel.
According to NBA league policy, tampering occurs when a team or one of its representatives tries to persuade a player, coach, trainer, general manager or any other person who is under contract with another team to join the tampering team.
Tampering has long been prohibited, but in 2019 the league dramatically increased the possible punishments for doing so.
The NBA raised the maximum team fine to $10 million, to go with a $6 million fine for improper deals and a $5 million fine for comments enticing other teams’ players.
An offending team can also be stripped of draft picks, have executives involved in the deal suspended, and, in some cases, have contracts voided.
Brunson never gave the Mavericks a formal meeting when free agency began.