NBA Fines Lakers $500,000 For Tampering
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Los Angeles Lakers tried to circumvent NBA rules in their pursuit of former Pacers forward Paul George, and it's going to cost them.
The NBA has fined the Lakers $500,000 after determining that Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka and George's agent were in contact before George's official free-agency period, which is set to begin July 1, 2018.
NBA anti-tampering rules forbid teams from contacting players who are still under contract with other teams. By having discussions with George's agent and expressing interest in possibly acquiring the All-Star forward, Pelinka violated those rules.
The NBA had previously warned the Lakers about tampering in April, after team president Magic Johnson talked about George during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show.
The investigation did not reveal "evidence of an agreement or understanding" that the Lakers would sign or acquire George, the NBA said in a release Thursday.
The Pacers requested an NBA tampering investigation two weeks ago after reports surfaced about "illegal" contact between George's camp and Pelinka.
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images Sport.)