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Report: NBA likely to investigate 76ers for tampering with P.J. Tucker

James Harden and P.J. Tucker in Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat - Game Two

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers and P.J. Tucker #17 of the Miami Heat look on during the second half in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at FTX Arena on May 04, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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The Knicks are expected to get penalized for tampering with Jalen Brunson.

They’re not the only team under scrutiny.

Days before free agency opened, reports said the 76ers were set to sign P.J. Tucker, who was still technically under contract with the Heat. Philadelphia’s deal with Tucker was reported one minute into free agency.

Marc Stein on his Substack:

I’m told that Philadelphia’s signing of P.J. Tucker is also likely to be placed under the investigation microscope by the league office.

Did the 76ers tamper with Tucker? Probably. Tampering is common, and there was so much smoke before the fire of Philadelphia actually signing Tucker.

But the NBA can either crack down on tampering or not. Many deals were reported suspiciously soon after free agency opened. Other deals announced later were almost certainly the product of early illicit negotiations.

The league punishing some teams but not others for tampering violations is not a good solution.