Today, the NBA announced their punishment for the Lakers for tampering with then Indiana Pacer Paul George. Let’s see how it turned out:
The Lakers’ crime in this tampering case that costs them $500k, I’m told, is GM Rob Pelinka having communication with Paul George’s agent.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) August 31, 2017
That’s it. The Lakers, who are worth an estimated $3 billion, were fined $500,000. They didn’t lose a draft pick, nobody was suspended and, most important, they weren’t prohibited from trying to sign George in the future.
The point of punishing a team for tampering (or in reality fining for anything) is to coerce the franchise from breaking league rules. Based on last year’s attendance, the Lakers can make back the money they were fined simply by charging an additional 64 cents per ticket. This fine means nothing for Los Angeles.
Of course, in context, what the Lakers did isn’t worthy of of something as extreme as not being allowed to acquire George, but they did enough to warrant losing at least a second round draft pick, which is much more of a loss than $500,000 as it essentially takes away a lottery ticket for Los Angeles.
George seems intent on joining the Lakers and clearly the Lakers are interested. The NBA is certainly not getting in their way.