As they likely should every season, the NBA has begun an investigation looking into possible violations of free agency rules and timelines. This is following concerns by some owners that certain players, agents and organizations were in contact and negotiating deals prior to the start of free agency. We've also been hit with rumors of teams trying to circumvent salary caps and appease players with extra perks.
Of course, much of the fervor centers around the recruitment of Kawhi Leonard, who left Toronto to sign a three-year, $103 million contract with the LA Clippers. In the midst of concerns, Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank released a statement proclaiming the organization's innocence in the matter.
Well, that was simple enough. I guess Adam Silver can cross the Clippers off of his list of teams to look into. Except for, you know, the whole thing about how they FOLLOWED KAWHI FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR.
Come on. Did the Clippers really think this would clear anything up, especially when the investigation is involving one of the best players in the NBA? And let's not forget the fact that Frank talks almost solely about the timing of Kawhi's recruitment, something that was probably not the main concern considering how late Kawhi made his decision compared to other free agents.
Though members of the Clippers organization were seen at Toronto Raptors games throughout the season, they may be in trouble for a different reason.
People in NBA circles claim Leonard’s camp and his uncle, Dennis Robertson, asked for things that would violate the league’s collective bargaining agreement
These allegations have not been confirmed, but if rumors are swirling, the NBA is most likely investigating. If this is the case, the focus of the investigation will be on tampering with the intent to circumvent the team salary cap.
It remains unclear if the Clippers offered Leonard or his advisors anything that would violate the CBA. But this could put the Clippers in some deep trouble, trouble that takes more than a claim of innocence to get rid of.
The NBA has yet to give a timetable as to when the investigations will be concluded.