Once the NBA’s 2022 free agency period began late last month, the Philadelphia 76ers swiftly agreed to a three-year deal with swingman P.J. Tucker. Shortly after, they also agreed to a contract with veteran forward Danuel House.
Ultimately, Philadelphia used the full non-tax payer mid-level exception to land Tucker on a three-year, $33 million deal and used the bi-annual exception to sign House to a two-year, $8.5 million deal. The Sixers wielded the flexibility to exercise both of these exceptions because James Harden opted out of his $47 million player option before signing a two-year, $68 million deal with a player option in the second season earlier this week.
Now, the NBA is conducting an investigation into “possible tampering” surrounding these moves, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has already begun answering questions from league attorneys, sources said,” Wojnarowski wrote. “The investigation is expected to include interviews with team personnel and the organization turning over electronic correspondence and phone records to league investigators.
ESPN Sources: The NBA has opened an investigation into the Philadelphia 76ers for possible tampering and early contact centered on franchise’s summer free agency class of James Harden, P.J. Tucker and Danuel House. Sixers have begun cooperating with league on probe. Story soon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 29, 2022
The key details rest in Wojnarowski’s follow-up tweet, where he notes the Sixers may have violated parameters of the league’s CBA, depending on how they went about arranging these three deals.
NBA's expected to pursue circumstances surrounding Harden declining $47M option to sign a 1+1 deal that cut salary to $33M and gave team more flexibility to sign Tucker and House. Some have wondered if another deal was already in place for future -- which is against CBA rules.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 29, 2022
“Around the league, there have been questions about whether there’s already a handshake agreement in place on a future contract (with Harden) — which would be in violation of collective bargaining rules,” Wojnarowski wrote.