The Los Angeles Lakers were found to be in violation of the NBA’s anti-tampering rule. For that, the team has been fined $500,000.

The investigation stemmed from the Indiana Pacers’ tampering charges filed against the Lakers involving Paul George. According to the investigation conducted by the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, and Katz, there was communication between the Lakers and representatives of PG13 while he’s still under contract with the Pacers.

The investigation did not mention whether additional fines will be imposed against the Lakers. There was also no mention whether magic johnson and Paul George, who both appeared separately on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, will be fined or not.

What is the Anti-tampering rule?

Article 35A of the NBA Constitution prohibits any team from directly or indirectly enticing, inducing, or persuading any player under contract from a different team; else, the team will be charged in violation of the league’s anti-tampering rule. This also covers coaches, GMs, and other personnel who are under contract.

Accordingly, team executives cannot publicly express or show interest with a player who is still under contract with another team unless they deal directly with team representatives. The rule also prohibits any team representative/s from reaching out to the player’s agent/s.

If proven to be in violation of this rule, possible penalties might include loss of draft pick/s, fines which could reach up to $5 million, and/or suspension of offending official/s.

The team could also be prevented from acquiring the said player -- in the case of the LA Lakers, Paul George.

Is Magic off the hook?

Back in April, Magic Johnson guested in the Jimmy Kimmel Live and spoke on his new role as Lakers’ president of basketball operations. At the onset, Jimmy asked Magic if he plans to pursue Paul George or Chris Paul, both California natives.

Magic declined to answer the question. But a revised question by the talk show host changed the outcome.

Magic was asked what he will do should he saw PG13 while on vacation. “We gonna say hi because we know each other, you just can’t say, ‘Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers,’ even though I’ll be wink winking like (winks a bunch of times) you know what that means right?” Magic told Jimmy.

Magic’s actuation hasn’t been found to be in violation of the anti-tampering rule. The charges only centered on Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka who contacted George's agent. Earlier, the NBA has already warned the Lakers about Magic’s subjective comments and action while on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show.

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