Tampering has been a way of life in the NBA. But the league says the Sixers took it too far.
The league announced that the Philadelphia 76ers tampered with other team’s players this summer before they signed Danuel House Jr. and P.J. Tucker and they’ll forfeit their second-round picks in 2023 and 2024 as a result.
NBA teams weren’t permitted to talk to prospective free agents until the new league year officially began at 6 p.m. Eastern time on June 30. The league investigation found that the Sixers inappropriately contacted those players – both old teammates of James Harden from Houston – before it was legal to do so.
Harden opted out of his contract for 2022-23 and took a reduced salary, freeing up the Sixers to sign Tucker and House. The NBA’s punishment does not affect the validity of the deals Tucker and House signed, but it does limit Philadelphia’s options for mid-season trades. They traded two first-round picks in the James Harden deal with Brooklyn, and sent another to Oklahoma City to dump Al Horford. Now they’re down to second-rounders in 2023 and 2029 as trade chips, and can’t trade a first-round pick until 2029.
The 76ers have started the season 3-4, with House and Tucker combining to score 8.1 points per game.