CHICAGO — Bringing the point guard to the team has certainly been one of the reasons that the Bulls have enjoyed a strong start to their season.
But the team’s pursuit of Lonzo Ball this summer through a trade did catch the eye of the NBA, and because of it has led to a sanction handed down by the league on Wednesday.
The Bulls will have to give up their next available second-round pick due to tampering involved with the team’s acquisition of Lonzo Ball in the summer. The Bulls and the Pelicans were ruled to have talked about a “Sign-and-Trade” for the guard before the league’s opening of free agency on August 2nd, leading to the penalty.
In one of a few major moves this summer for the team, the Bulls signed Ball to a four-year, $80 million contract. In exchange, the Bulls sent Garrett Temple, Tomas Satoransky, and a 2024 second round pick New Orleans.
For the past few months, the NBA has been investigating whether there were talks ahead of the start of free agency and the punishment was handed down on Wednesday.
“The Chicago Bulls cooperated completely with the league in its investigation. We are glad this process has concluded and look forward to the rest of our season,” said the Bulls in a statement released by the league.
Also Wednesday, the Miami Heat were forced to forfeit a second round pick due to tampering violations in their “Sign-and-Trade” with the Raptors for guard Kyle Lowry.