The National Basketball Players Association is researching the 76ers' rule-bending and possibly breaking of the collective bargaining agreement, per RealGM's Shams Charania:
NBPA told agents in meeting Monday that it is researching Philadelphia for possible violation of collective bargaining, sources tell RealGM.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2015
This isn't great. Not only is it poor form in general to be in violation of the CBA at the expense of the players, the main reason the league exists and thrives, it also puts the Sixers in a bad position in the future in terms of their relationship with agents. If the team is having trouble at this stage of their rebuilding process with agents, it's hard to imagine those agents and their clients ignoring this all once the Sixers attempt to actual start signing relevant free agents.
Pinpointing an exact cause leading to this type of investigation is tough. The Sixers and Sam Hinkie haven't exactly been angels in their twisting of the CBA to benefit the team, though what the public knows of the team at this point seems to fall within their legal right. There are a couple of things the team has done during the Hinkie to cause the ire of some, which may be leading to this whole process:
1. Circumvention of the salary floor. As neither a lawyer nor CBA guru Larry Coon, I'm not as steeped in the intricacies of the CBA as those in the league, but this is something that could possibly be looked into, with the acquisitions of Danny Granger, JaVale McGee, and Thomas Robinson during the past two seasons. All of the moves the Sixers pulled off are legal via the CBA to public knowledge, but the NBPA might feel differently.
2, The whole Andrei Kirilenko thing, just in general.
3. Since Charania's report doesn't mention the Rockets, I'm less inclined to think this case involves K.J. McDaniels specifically and the possibility that Hinkie and his former boss Daryl Morey colluded to keep McDaniels' playing time low as he headed towards restricted free agency.
The NBPA, however, could be taking a wider look at the Sixers' use of "The Hinkie Special" in general, leaving players hanging with cheap, unguaranteed years at the end of their contracts that leaves them up to the will of a team's management. Our own Jake Fischer reported this morning that the Sixers may be looking to package some seconds and acquire a late first on Thursday, so that could be a move to mend their relationship with agents and players, locking one into a guaranteed contract and likely getting a better player in the process.
This won't hurt the Sixers' draft positioning on Thursday, though it could have a larger effect in the future if the NBPA ultimately finds wrongdoing on the Sixers' part, leading to fines, lost draft picks, or, worst of all, a damaged relationship with agents and players around the league.