Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the NBA opened up a tampering investigation into the Miami Heat’s sign-and-trade deal for Kyle Lowry on Aug. 7. Today, the NBA finally handed down the punishment — a lost second-round pick.
ESPN Sources: The NBA will make Chicago and Miami forfeit their next available second-round draft pick over findings in probe into early contact in summer free agency. Probe was centered on Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry sign and trades.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 1, 2021
The league concluded that Miami had “impermissible discussions” with representatives of Lowry before the Aug. 2 6 p.m. start of free agency. If the Heat make the playoffs this season, they would forfeit the lesser of a 2022 Philadelphia or Denver second-round pick.
The team released a statement saying that while they disagree, they accept the league’s decision and are moving forward with the season.
Many viewed the punishment from the league as a slap on the wrist, as teams freely attach second-round picks in trades. (Also relevant: the Heat traded three second-round picks in 2019 to trade for KZ Okpala, who hasn’t panned out.)
As I mentioned back in August, the Heat’s decision to pick up the team option on Goran Dragic’s contract was widely seen as a precursor to the Lowry sign-and-trade. That allowed the Heat to have the outgoing salary, along with Precious Achiuwa, to absorb Lowry’s new contract.