NBA ‘opens investigation into Philadelphia 76ers for possible TAMPERING during signing spree which included James Harden and PJ Tucker’
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski the probe relates to the summer spending spree which saw the Sixers bring in free agents James Harden, PJ Tucker and Danuel House.
Harden, who was on Philadelphia’s roster before hitting free agency, turned down the a $47million option to sign with the team, only to stay and sign for less.
Harden decided to stay in Philadelphia after declining the initial open to sign with the 76ers
The report claims the Sixers are cooperating with the league at this time.
Harden penned a two-year, $68.6m deal on Wednesday, which includes $33m for the 2022/23 season.
The cap flexibility engendered by Harden’s decline-and-sign allowed the Sixers to add fellow free agents in Tucker and House.
Rival NBA teams have raised questions as to whether Harden and the 76ers may have had a handshake agreement for a deal down the line.
Under the current collective bargaining rules, teams cannot have future agreements in place. This, seemingly, is what the league will be looking to answer.
Philadelphia president of basketball operations, Darryl Morey, has already begun answering questions asked of him by the NBA’s attorney — according to the report.
It is said the investigation will involve a full-scale inquiry, including the turning in of phone records and electronic communication devices and interviews with league investigators.
The second year of Harden’s contract includes a player option — enabling him to sign with the Sixers for 35.6m in 2023/24, or thrust himself into free agency once more.
Despite his stellar resume, which includes honors as a six-time All-Pro and 10-time All-Star, Harden has faced criticism for failing to lift his team to an NBA title.
His decision to take a pay cut suggests he is all-in on bringing a championship to The City of Brotherly Love.
Harden’s benevolence allowed the Sixers to sign power forward and one-time NBA champion, PJ Tucker from Miami and Danuel House, formerly of the Utah Jazz.
Tucker signed a fully guaranteed three-year, $33m deal on July 6, meanwhile House signed a two-year, $8.5m contract.
All three players have previous experience with Morey, having played under his watch in Houston.
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