Can the Dallas Mavericks profit from Knicks tampering?

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The word, “tampering” has been at near joke status in the NBA for quite a while. Like a whistle for carrying, it’s an offense that’s rarely called, even if it’s shamelessly prevalent. A team (not the Dallas Mavericks, of course) would have to do something so blatant, so egregious, that the NBA would have no choice but to punish.

The New York Knicks did that.

When Jalen Brunson cancelled all of his meetings and agreed to join the Knicks before the tampering period even ended, it was clear nefarious things were afoot. How could one agree if communication, let alone negotiations, had not been taking place?

Can the Dallas Mavericks get compensation if the New York Knicks and Jalen Brunson are found guilty?

While the premise of this topic may be more than just a little salty from the Dallas Mavericks side of things, it’s not without merit. Everyone and their brother knew the Knicks were making a play for Brunson. Their front office had more intended leaks in it than a pasta strainer. They wanted Brunson to know they were coming.

To further telegraph their intentions they seemingly hired everyone Jalen ever cared about to join the franchise. Leon Rose, Brunson’s former agent and close friend, was already in place as the president of basketball operations and they just recently hired Brunson’s father as an assistant coach. Brunson’s current agent is also the son of the Knicks president, all contributing to a situation with more backdoors than a 1920s speakeasy.

In all fairness, the NBA knew they had a major tampering issue so they revamped the rules in 2019 and have taken a somewhat stronger stance than previous seasons. Teams are still breaking the rules, but the league isn’t allowing them to be as blatant about it as they once did.

The timing of events regarding Brunson was so obvious, the question isn’t if the Knicks tampered, but rather if the NBA found enough proof to issue a punishment. If the Knicks are found guilty, many believe the Mavs should get compensation since they essentially got the raw end of the deal.

This sounds good in theory but it’s not seen in practice. While the league could void the deal if the Knicks were found guilty, the chances are slim given we’re so far into the process. Jalen wouldn’t have many options around the league to go to and the bridge back to Dallas may not be burned, but it’s not stable either. A void would cause a mess.

The NBA could suspend players or executives found guilty of tampering, and can issue fines (the most likely punishment in this case). Forfeiture of draft picks is also on the table, and given the Knicks plethora of picks, Dallas Mavericks fans have hoped for compensation/retribution in the form of those picks.

As stated before, fines are the most likely form of punishment, with front office suspensions possible as well. But don’t expect the Knicks to send draft picks to the Mavs as compensation because that just ain’t happening. In fact, don’t expect the Mavs to get anything out of this beyond the salty satisfaction of seeing the Knicks punished.

Tampering probably changed nothing in this whole thing. The Mavs had their financial limits and didn’t want to exceed them. New York was going to beat their offer and get their man regardless. But the way the whole thing went down was ugly and classless, so to see karma make an appearance here, will have to be satisfaction enough for MFFLs.

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The Mavs won’t get much from this other than a cheap laugh, but hey, who doesn’t love a good laugh now and then?

  • Published on 08/02/2022 at 22:01 PM
  • Last updated at 08/02/2022 at 21:57 PM