LOS ANGELES -- The Los angeles Lakers are under investigation by the NBA for possible tampering involving Paul George.
The Lakers are denying the allegations filed by the Indiana Pacers and maintain that they expect to be cleared in the matter, a team source told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne. George informed the Pacers in June that he planned to opt out of his contract next year and intends to sign a free-agent deal with his hometown Lakers. He was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis on June 30 in a deal that was finalized on July 6.
If the NBA finds evidence of tampering and can prove the Lakers are guilty of impermissible contact with George while he was under contract with the Pacers, the league can punish the Lakers by taking away draft picks, fining the organization, setting future restrictions on acquiring George -- who will be a free agent next summer -- and/or possibly suspending kids stephen curry jersey offending team officials.
Q: How does the NBA define tampering?
MARKS: Under NBA tampering rules, no player, coach or management person may entice or induce a player under contract with another team to play for his team.
Q: How rare it is for a team to actually get punished for tampering?
MARKS: Several times, a team has been fined for mentioning to the media or season-ticket holders a player it wishes to pursue in free agency.
In 2013, Atlanta and Sacramento were fined for outlining their plains for free agency that included players not on the Hawks and Kings.
Atlanta sent an email to season-ticket holders:
"The buzz around our offseason is more than heating up, " the Hawks' letter to fans said. "With massive cap space, 4 draft picks, and free agency rapidly approaching, we sit in the best position in the NBA. Player interest is skyrocketing as the possibilities of landing Chris Paul & Dwight Howard become more and more of a reality. This is your opportunity to get on board before its [sic] too late. Once we solidify stephen curry jersey our signings there will be no seats left. "
Meanwhile, former head coach Mike Malone mentioned in camouflage jersey his introductory news conference that Paul, then with the Clippers, would look pretty good in a Sacramento uniform.