The Miami Heat executed yet another piece of smart business when they pulled off a sign-and-trade for veteran former All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry will bring championship experience to the Heat as they continue to build their dark horse team for the Eastern Conference next season. But the deal has been overshadowed by the controversy surrounding it.
The NBA reportedly opened an investigation into the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade to see whether there was any tampering done. The NBA has been very strict on the tampering front over the last few years and is doing its best to curb the practice among teams in the last few seasons. The NBA opened investigations against both Miami and the Chicago Bulls, for their sign-and-trade deal with the Pelicans involving Lonzo Ball.
But it appears that the Heat are not actually under investigation for tampering with the Lowry trade. NBA insider Ira Winderman took to Twitter to clarify the situation surrounding the Miami Heat and the Kyle Lowry trade. He reported that the NBA is not investigating the Miami Heat for tampering, but for 'jumping the gun'.
This means that the NBA is trying to see whether the Heat already had some kind of agreement with Lowry and the Raptors and executed that deal before free agency began. This is probably because the trade was announced almost immediately after free agency opened for the NBA.
At the moment, it appears that there is no chance that the NBA's investigation and intervention will lead to the trade being reversed. According to Winderman, the most that the NBA can and will do is take away future draft picks, impose fines, and/or sanctions on the Heat and the Raptors.
So the Heat and the Raptors have dodged a bullet right now. But that doesn't mean that the punishment can't affect them in the long run. The confiscation of draft picks, especially for a team that is rebuilding like the Raptors are, will hurt their process. And their front office will have to do a lot of work to ensure that this punishment doesn't hurt their rebuilding process over the years to come.