It's hard to tell what is and isn't tampering in today's NBA.
But ... this kind of feels like tampering, no?
New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. joined Bleacher Report's House of Highlights show on Thursday night and at one point was shown an altered photo of himself, top prospect Zion Williamson and pending free agents Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Knicks blue and orange.
Here's how Smith responded:
Smith reacted how any sane NBA player would: Of course he'd like Irving and Durant, two of the best players on the planet, to join his squad in free agency this summer.
But in theory, the NBA's tampering rules are supposed to prevent players or executives from blatantly stating as much in public. Which is kind of what Smith does here.
"Man, look, the proof is in the pudding: They look good in blue and orange," Smith added. "And if we get Zion, I mean, come on man, we'll make some noise for real."
In Smith's defense, he was put on the spot, and the fact that he spoke in hypotheticals -- "What would you say (to Kyrie and KD)" -- may let the 21-year-old off the hook.
Nitpicking aside, Smith's comments are proof there's still buzz around Irving and Durant leaving the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors, respectively, to come to the Big Apple.
Irving helped generate some of that buzz when he told reporters to ask him July 1 about his free agent plans, reneging on a promise to Celtics fans to re-sign in Boston and leading some to speculate he'd return home to join the Knicks.
Not surprisingly, Smith seems happy to fan those rumor flames.
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