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NBA opens investigation into free agency process amid Kawhi Leonard rumors

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The NBA has started to investigate several issues that occurred during this summer’s free agent frenzy.

According to ESPN and The New York Times, the investigation will likely focus on player tampering and the start of free agency.

Player tampering has been problematic for years and difficult to police, but this year, several deals were reported within seconds after the official start of free agency.

Another part of the investigation entails rumors linked to former All-Star Spurs and Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard, who recently signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on his show that people in NBA circles claim Leonard’s camp and his uncle, Dennis Robertson, asked for things that would violate the league’s collective bargaining agreement. 

“Allegedly, the uncle, Uncle Dennis, was asking for a lot of stuff from the other teams; houses, planes, sponsorship, guaranteed sponsorship money, just as an example.”

Smith added that information regarding Leonard’s camp has not been confirmed, but the Times report says the NBA wants to “focus on whether proper inducements were offered to players to circumvent the salary cap.”  

TSN first reported similarly that Leonard’s camp made several requests that were “unreasonable” during the Raptors negotiations. 

It remains unclear if the Clippers offered Leonard or his advisors anything that would violate the CBA.

There was also no timetable given for when the league will complete its investigation.

The investigation stemmed from concerns by NBA owners and agents, ESPN reported.


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