The NBA loves to needlessly punish teams for tampering, and the Knicks are the latest victim of the league’s investigations. This time, for their major signing of the summer.
The NBA has announced that the Knicks are losing their 2025 second-round pick, after finding that the team “engaged in free agency discussions involving Jalen Brunson prior to the date when such discussions were permitted.”
The following was released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/qBA7JnwKlo— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) December 21, 2022
Did the Knicks tamper by talking to Brunson before the official start of free agency? Sure they did, but so does every team every year when they’re making signings. We all know everyone technically tampers and it isn’t going to stop, so these kinds of punishments remain pointless.
The weirdly selective, rather than league-wide punishment doesn’t make sense either.
Ultimately in the case of the Knicks, the price of one second-round pick isn’t much of a concern, though, now that they’ve finally addressed their point guard issue with Brunson. His craftiness, three-level scoring ability, and overall skill and production has probably been underrated for a while, and he’s thriving in a larger role in New York. With career-high averages of 20.8 points and 6.2 assists per game with a 57.9 true shooting percentage, he’s been integral to the Knicks climbing to sixth place in the East and their current eight-game winning streak.
Of course, this also comes almost two months after the NBA completed its investigation into the Sixers regarding the signings of Danuel House Jr. and P.J. Tucker, which resulted in the team losing its 2023 and 2024 second-round picks. As if the Sixers were operating any differently than other teams all around the league before signing their new forwards…
Either every team should be punished for tampering, or none should (preferably the latter).