NBA investigating New York Knicks for possible tampering in signing of Jalen Brunson

The NBA is investigating possible tampering allegations surrounding the New York Knicks’ pursuit as a free agent and the signing of former Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Teams were not allowed to contact an agent or player to discuss a deal until 6:00 p.m. ET on June 30, the opening of free agency. Brunson that night agreed to a four-year, $104 million deal with the Knicks.

Brunson has several ties to the Knicks organization. Team President Leon Rose, who made a series of trades after draft night to create enough Cap space to sign Brunson, is a prominent former player agent whose first client was Brunson’s father, Rick. Rose also represented Jalen Brunson early in his career. Rick Brunson was recently hired as the Knicks’ assistant, reuniting him with coach Tom Thibodeau, for whom he also served as an assistant with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jalen Brunson, 25, has enjoyed a breakout season in which he averaged 16.3 points and 4.8 assists per game. He established himself as Dallas’ No. 2 option behind All-NBA guard Luka Doncic, his classmate in the 2018 draft, after joining the starting lineup on a full-time basis in December. Brunson helped lead the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 11 years and averaged 21.6 points per game in the playoffs.

Yahoo Sports first reported on the NBA investigation.

The NBA introduced tougher sanctions against tampering in 2019, including raising the maximum penalty for teams to $10 million and the ability to suspend team leaders, forfeit draft picks, and even void contracts. The possibility of the contracts being void is seen as a virtually non-existent threat.

The league on Friday launched an investigation into the Philadelphia 76ers for possible tampering and early contacts focused on the franchise’s summer free-agent class of James Harden, PJ Tucker and Danuel House Jr., sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday with

Sixers basketball president Daryl Morey has already begun answering questions from league attorneys, sources said.

Last year, the NBA withdrew a second-round pick each from the Bulls and Miami Heat for early contact with free agents Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, respectively, in 2021. The Milwaukee Bucks were penalized with losing a second-round pick for 2022 over allegations of tampering in connection with Sacramento Kings restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic ahead of the 2020 season.

Information provided by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon was used in this report. NBA investigating New York Knicks for possible tampering in signing of Jalen Brunson

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