Tampering rules may seem inconsistent and confusing, but it is an important part of the NBA process.
Basically, the rules prohibit a team owner, executive, coach, player, or any member of the organization from speaking to a player signed by another franchise with the hopes of persuading him to join their team. It's supposed to help give each team an even playing field for players in free agency and helps smaller market teams keep their stars long-term.
It's usually not enforced and can be difficult to prove, but it happens all the time.
This season, for example, both the Heat and the Lakers got in some trouble for possible tampering violations involving their offseason moves.
Hilariously, Wizards guard Spencer Dinwiddie called them out for it while addressing fans about his own tampering suspicions.
"Before free agency would be tampering bro. What you talking about? Listen, the Lakers, Toronto, Heat... They're the ones that are tampering. No tampering here."
Obviously, it's quite comical that he threw those teams under the bus like that, especially considering that the Heat and Raptors are still the subject of an active NBA investigation.
The punishment for tampering varies, but there have been some pretty hefty fines in the past.
Back in 2017, the LA Lakers were fined $500,000 for VP Rob Pelinka talking to Paul George before the official start of free agency.
Ex-Philadelphia 76ers President Daryl Morey once got fined $75,000 for tweeting "Join 'em" to Steph Curry.
Let's not forget the time Draymond Green got fined $50K for suggesting Devin Booker should leave the Phoenix Suns on live television.
So, it's hard to say for certain what the verdict this year will be for L.A., Miami, and Toronto. if they are found guilty, it's safe to say some sort of monetary compensation will have to be given.
As for Spencer Dinwiddie, he seems to be enjoying his fresh start in D.C. With the opportunity to blossom into a star and lead the Wizards back to some success in the East, it will be interesting to see how these next few years play out for Dinwiddie and his new team.