The National Basketball Association (NBA) has opened a manipulation investigation into the Knicks over their handling of free agent signing Galen Bronson.
The league is looking into whether the Knicks had contact with base before the start of free agency. The investigation, which was reported by Yahoo! Sports, confirmed by the Washington Post.
Bronson’s leaving Dallas for the Knicks was one of the NBA’s kept secrets that led to free agency. The 25-year-old has a string of relationships with the Knicks, including appointing his father Rick as assistant coach this off-season. Nix has so far refused to make Bronson available to the media, leading many to speculate that this was to protect him from being manipulated by questions.
Teams were not allowed to negotiate with a player or their agent to reach a deal before 6pm on June 30, the start of the free agency. Knicks signed Bronson to a four-year, $104 million contract that night.
It’s unclear whether another team has filed a complaint against the Knicks, or whether the NBA has noticed enough evidence to start its own unbanned investigation. On Friday, the league opened an investigation into the 76 signings of James Harden, PJ Tucker and Danielle House Jr., and now the Knicks add.
There was a time when another team had to file a complaint before they achieved the league, but that is no longer the case. The National Basketball Association strengthened its penalties against match-fixing three years ago, raising the maximum fine for teams to $10 million while adding the ability to suspend executives, take draft picks and even void contracts.
While the latter nuclear option is considered highly unlikely, the league denied the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat second-round picks last year after having early contact with Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry. The Milwaukee Bucks lost a second-round selection last June to playing Sacramento Kings free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic in 2020.
Recent history shows that draft choices may be at stake for Knicks.
Team boss Leon Rose is a former agent who not only represented Bronson early in his career, but his first client was Bronson’s father Rick. Rose’s son Sam is one of Bronson’s CAA representatives.
In April, Knicks executive vice president William Wesley — who also has a relationship with Bronson — saw him play in the post-season, and saw him sitting on the field in Dallas for Game 1 of the Mavericks playoff series against Utah.
Rose then struck several deals after draft night to make way for Bronson – swapping Alec Burkes and Nerlence Noel away – and named Rick as assistant coach on June 2. Chicago, Minnesota, knows Galen Bronson since his childhood.
Bronson never met his Mavs at free agency, with widespread reports that he was already headed to New York. Signed quickly on June 30th.
Last month on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban didn’t have much of a problem with Bronson’s departure.
“That’s just the business,” Cuban said, “that’s how it works… It’s not my job to specify.” “This goes back to the NBA. It is what it is, it has been.”
The goalkeeper averaged 16.3 points and 4.8 assists in a career year playing alongside Luka Doncic, including 21.6 points in the playoffs to lead the Mavis to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2010-11.