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NBA opens tampering investigation into Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade

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The NBA will look into whether Miami had discussions with Lowry before the start of free agency.

Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Sunday that the NBA opened a tampering investigation into the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade deal between the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat.

Sources told Wojnarowski that “the probe will examine illegal contact among teams and players ahead of free agency on Monday at 6 p.m. ET.” The Miami Heat’s decision to pick up the team option on Goran Dragic’s contract was widely seen as a precursor to the trade for Lowry.

In 1996, the NBA voided the Heat’s signing of Juwan Howard for miscalculating salary cap space — not tampering. Pat Riley quipped that he “spent the weekend at my proctologist’s trying to remove the NBA’s 17-foot pole out of my rear end.”

ESPN NBA front office insider Bobby Marks said that he doesn’t believe trades will get voided, but that penalties will definitely be more severe than the Milwaukee Bucks’ loss of a 2022 first-round pick when an NBA investigation revealed Milwaukee had discussions with Bogdan Bogdanović and his agent before free agency began.

The NBA’s investigation could also clear Miami of wrongdoing, in which case this story would become a footnote.