Bulls ‘Gotta Be Smarter’ Says Former NBA Executive After Tampering Case

Getty Lonzo Ball

The Chicago Bulls “are going to get nailed” in the NBA’s investigation into potential tampering violations following their agreement to sign-and-trade for Lonzo Ball, says former NBA front office pro and current ESPN analyst, Bobby Marks.

Marks Slams the Bulls and Pelicans For Their Hastiness in the Lonzo Ball Sign-and-Trade Deal

On a video Marks posted on his Instagram account, Marks slammed the Bulls and the New Orleans Pelicans for their handling of the deal that landed Lonzo Ball in the Windy City.

Marks said this about the NBA’s investigation into potential tampering as it relates to the Bulls and Pelicans:

And I’m not going to go into full detail here, but I would just say that it’s like when it’s involving a sign and trade, that can’t be the first transaction that comes across the wire at 6:00. Like it can’t happen, like, at six o’clock on August 2nd, Lonzo Ball sign-and- trade agreement was the first thing that happened. Like that can’t happen, like you couldn’t wait until 6:30 or 6:45? Like, I can understand if Lonzo was signing with Chicago, and he was an unrestricted free agent, but he wasn’t. It was a sign and trade. So obviously New Orleans and Chicago were talking before 6:00. And in the big scheme of things, everybody’s talking, everybody’s talking, agents are talking, teams are talking, and the league is going to look the other way. But when it comes to a signing trade regarding a transaction of multiple players and that happens at six o’clock, I don’t even think it was like 15 seconds in. It just can’t happen. And the league is going to nail these teams. I’m telling you, like New Orleans and Chicago, they’re going to get nailed.

You have to wonder if both the Bulls and Pelicans’ front office was onboard with going public with the deal so soon. While the Bulls and Pelicans appear guilty to Marks and others, the former NBA executive doesn’t expect the deal to be voided.

He continued:

I mean, this trade will go through if it hasn’t gone through already and there will be no voiding of contracts. I’ve seen people doing that. Stop. This isn’t this isn’t the Joe Smith situation in Minnesota way, way back. And if anyone wants to know what happened to Joe Smith in Minnesota, Google it. I mean, basically, there was like a like there was like a side agreement with an actual contract and a desk sort of guy can get bird rights here. I mean, God Almighty, like, what do you think in there? But these teams are going to get nailed. I mean, it’s going to be probably draft picks and it’s going to be it’s going to be probably some type of fine, substantial fine. It ain’t going to be fifty thousand dollars in a forfeiture of a twenty twenty two second round pick that Milwaukee got with. I mean I went back and looked at the timeline and it just, it can’t happen. I mean you gotta be smarter here and you know it, it’s going to kill the team. I mean, the team’s going to be fined and they’re going to lose draft picks, but Lonzo Ball is still going to get his $25 million a year.

You can watch the entire video below:

What’s Next For the Bulls?

It is obvious, tampering takes place every year, so much so, the NBA should potentially consider eliminating some or all of the current restrictions attached to the free agent process. However, the Bulls and Pelicans blatant disregard for the rules threw up a red flag, which according to Marks will likely lead to a stiffer punishment than the Milwaukee Bucks received last year when they were found guilty of tampering during their pursuit of Bogdan Bogdanovic. Unlike the Bulls, the Bucks were unsuccessful in acquiring their target. Chicago officially announced the acquisition of Ball on Sunday.

While it is highly unlikely the Bulls will have to void the 4-year $85 million deal with Ball, but hefty fines and the potential loss of draft picks appears to be a growing possibility. 

This might explain why the Bulls are said to be seeking a first-round pick in return for Lauri Markkanen. The 24-year-old restricted free agent has said he wants a fresh start elsewhere. The Bulls are willing to trade him, and the Charlotte Hornets are said to be interested in the 7-footer.

If Chicago is able to recoup a potential draft pick in a deal for Markkanen, it will make the penalty for tampering all the more easy for Bulls fans to stomach.

As it is, judging by the tone of many Bulls fans on social media, most just want to move on to what feels like the most promising season in years for the Bulls.

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