NBA Investigating 76ers Potentially Tampering with James Harden

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According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the NBA has opened an investigation into a possible tampering violation

involving the Philadelphia 76ers' acquisitions of James Harden, P.J. Tucker, and Danuel House Jr.

The reasons why Harden chose to sign a two-year, $68 million contract with a player option for the second year

rather than exercise his $47 million player option are of interest to the league.

It has been questioned whether a handshake agreement, which would be against the rules of collective bargaining, was in place for a future contract.

By choosing not to exercise his option, Harden offered Philadelphia greater leeway to sign Tucker and House.

In an interview last month, Harden stated, "Taking less money this year to recruit as many players

as we needed to help us contend and be the last club standing was very, very important to me.

I wanted to demonstrate to the organisation, Sixers supporters, and everyone else who supports what we're trying to do

and what I'm trying to do personally that this is who I am.

House agreed to a two-year, $8.4 million contract while Tucker accepted a three-year, $30 million deal.

Only because Harden declined his option were the 76ers able to sign Tucker to the entire mid-level exception and House to the bi-annual exception.

The 76ers' president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey, has reportedly already started responding to the league's lawyers' inquiries.

The NBA imposed tougher punishments in 2019 and removed a lottery pick from the Chicago Bulls for early contact with Lonzo Ball in 2019

and the Miami Heat for doing the same with Kyle Lowry last summer, as tampering is frequently a potential problem.