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Warriors owner Joe Lacob fined for tampering with 76ers’ Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons in Philadelphia 76ers v Golden State Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 23: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors on March 23, 2021 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. 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 Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Warriors owner Joe Lacob – as rumors swirled about a Ben Simmons trade – said his team probably wouldn’t make a blockbuster deal.

As Simmons – who (begrudgingly) remains under contract with the 76ers – lingers on the trade block, Lacob expanded.

Lacob, via Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle:

In an interview with The Chronicle on Tuesday, Warriors owner Joe Lacob said in reference to a “Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Philadelphia” while being careful not to get fined for tampering: “I think we are always looking at everything to see if we can improve our team. We would always look.”
“In some ways, it doesn’t really fit what we’re doing. He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know,” Lacob said. “He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another.”

Those comments will cost Lacob.

NBA release:

The NBA announced today that it has fined Golden State Warriors Governor Joe Lacob $50,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule. The fine is in response to comments by Lacob in a September 21 news article regarding the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons.

The NBA tends to investigate tampering only when someone complains. Think 76ers president Daryl Morey might have complained about Golden State?

On one hand, it’s a little silly to fine an owner for talking about NOT wanting a player. On the other hand, Lacob publicly meddled with the status of a player contracted by another team – generally what tampering rules are designed to prohibit.

If anything, Lacob deserves to be fined for trying to be too cute. “Ben Simmons” is not Voldermort. Saying his name is not some magic trigger. Everyone knows whom Lacob meant by “Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Philadelphia.”