The Los Angeles Lakers were slapped with a $500,000 fine for tampering violations related to their pursuit of former Indiana Pacers star Paul George.
Here is what Peter Vecsey, who was the first to report on the issue, said about potential punishments (via Patreon):
“If deemed guilty, the Lakers’ franchise could be docked multiple draft picks (Timberwolves lost five first-rounders, got two back, but were shut out of draft in 2001, ’02 & ’04), their hierarchy could be suspended for a year or more (like T’Wolf owner Glen Taylor and GM Kevin McHale and a team lawyer for entering into a fraudulent series of contracts with Joe Smith) and fined millions (it cost Wolves $3.5M). The most severe punishment could be forbidding the Lakers to sign George when he’s free next summer.”
The Minnesota Timberwolves were actually hit with “salary cap circumvention” and not a fine. As such, Los Angeles will pay the largest tampering fine in the history of the league after it was found general manager Rob Pelinka communicated with George’s agent.
Aaron Mintz, who represents George, also has Lakers big man Julius Randle as well as former L.A. guard D’Angelo Russell as clients.
There were no findings that Los Angeles has any type of “wink-wink free agency agreement” with George for the 2018 offseason. Considering what Vecsey outlined as potential punitive measures, this seems like a best-case scenario for the Lakers.