The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) probe into the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat for their sign-and-trade acquisitions of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, respectively, have progressed to the “advanced stages”.
The league is investigating alleged tampering violations by the Bulls and Heat, focusing on early contact prior to the free agency period.
Ball was acquired by the Bulls from the New Orleans Pelicans for Garrett Temple, Tomas Satoransky, a 2024 second-round draft pick, and financial considerations.
Recall that Ball agreed to a four-year, $85 million contract with the Bulls.
Lowry was acquired by the Heat from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Goran Dragic and the Nigerian basketballer Precious Achiuwa. Lowry agreed to a three-year, $85 million deal with Miami.
Both acquisitions have paid off for those organisations. Ball is averaging 12.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game for the 8-3 Bulls, who are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Lowry leads the Heat (7-5) with 12.1 points, 7.3 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Yet, the penalties awaiting those found wanting in the probes could include a fine of up to $10 million per team, the loss of draft picks, and the suspension of team executives.