Sixers Could Face Harsh Penalty in Tampering Investigation

Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden

Getty James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Following an impressive offseason, Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves under investigation by the league office. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the team is facing tampering charges regarding the signings of James Harden, Danuel House Jr., and P.J. Tucker.

After declining his $47 million player option, Harden signed a two-year deal at a more team-friendly price. With more cap space at his disposal, Morey went and signed the pair of veteran forwards to bolster the Sixers’ depth. It’s also worth noting that Tucker and House Jr. are former teammates of Harden from his time with the Houston Rockets.

In an episode of NBA Today, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps discussed the type of penalty the Sixers could be facing if found guilty. He stated that if it comes out there is a backdoor agreement with Harden involving his next contract the organization could be paying a steep price.

Certainly if there is any kind of discovery of some kind of agreement ahead of time to give James a new deal after next season, that would be a really big deal and could potentially levy a really big penalty against the 76ers. But again, this situation otherwise falls into the same bucket where the league wants to look into whether there was some kind of pre communication, where everybody was doing stuff before the start of free agency.

Rosalyn Gold-Onwude also reported that Daryl Morey has already begun fielding questions from league attorneys.

Former NBA Player Thinks Tampering Allegation is Bogus

Like Sixers fans, two analysts feel the Sixers are being wrongfully targeted as well. Former NBA player Jalen Rose brought up how bogus tampering is in the league because of how connected everyone is.

“I think this has been happening since the beginning of time,” said Rose. “Of course Daryl Morey has relationships, he’s a longtime GM. What do you think people are doing around the league? You at Summer League, you at NBA games, everybody got everybody’s number. So that don’t even make sense.

David Jacoby followed up this comment by saying that tampering is a silly thing for the league to enforce on its teams. “The idea that these people are supposed to not communicate with each other until a certain time that the league says is kind of silly to me, he said. “I understand why there is a rule. It’s like jaywalking, we need the rule, but we don’t really need to enforce it.”

Doc Rivers Defends Daryl Morey in Recent Interview

Another person to come to the defense of Daryl Morey is Sixers head coach Doc Rivers. He revealed in a recent interview with Vince Carter that he had no clue what James Harden was going to do hours before a decision had to be made with his player option.

“I can guarantee you Daryl had no idea what James was gonna do,” said Rivers. “I remember talking to him on the eve of when James could opt in or out and he’s like ‘we got five hours left.’ That was Daryl Morey so that tells you he had no idea.”

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