The Sixers are under investigation for tampering by the NBA, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. This comes directly after James Harden, the prized return for disgruntled Warzone competitor Ben Simmons, agreed to a 1-year +1-year deal for $33 million, declining his $47 million dollar player option. This pay cut allowed the Sixers to sign free agent wings PJ Tucker and Daniel House.
Why are the Sixers being investigated?
The investigation is happening under the idea that it’s possible that James Harden and the Sixers had already agreed to a future contract, basically guaranteeing Harden the money he’s missing out on this season in the future and potentially for a longer period of time. This would be illegal as stated by the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (C.B.A).
It’s hard to ignore the obvious. Sixers President of Basketball of Operation Daryl Morey and James Harden are close. They have a great relationship from their days in Houston and such a contract was always going to raise eyebrows.
Harden played for Morey and the Rockets for 8 years, making the playoffs every single year. However, despite high seeds and incredible play from The Beard, they were never able to win a championship. The Golden State Warriors always seemed to have just enough to beat them. After years of trying, Morey was fired and Harden requested a trade out of town. He ended up in Brooklyn.
Despite the largest amount of hype for a super team the league had seen since The Heatles, the big three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden fell off the rails before it ever really got started. Now Harden is in Philadelphia, Kyrie is a part-time player trying to force his way onto the Lakers, and Kevin Durant requested a trade, preferably to a contender, so he can start his next Next Chapter.
They hate the process
All-in-all, This investigation will either prove that Morey and Harden have an illegal back door future contract, or that Harden is fully committed to winning in Philadelphia. Either way, we know the same three things. One, that tampering is always a possibility. Two, that the league picks and chooses when to investigate it. And three…. They Hate The Process.
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes