By Jerry Wein

The Sixers signed Tucker and Danuel House Jr., combined with James Harden taking a huge pay cut to get those deals done.

And they did all that quickly, around the opening of free agency a month ago.

That is why the NBA is investigating for tampering.

The NBA seems inconsistent on when they will investigate a team for tampering, however, and John Hollinger of The Athletic called out the league for investigating the Sixers in this current situation:

“On the other hand, I can imagine people in Miami in particular are rather upset about the Sixers’ deal with Harden. The Heat could have evaluated the market heading into the offseason and reasonably believed they could keep Tucker at $8.4 million a year (the maximum amount allowable by the Heat without incurring the luxury-tax apron), not anticipating a $14 million pay cut for Harden that permitted the Sixers to start Tucker at $10.49 million per annum.

“Speaking of Miami, that takes us to the final type of tampering. This is the variety that cost the Bulls and Heat draft picks a year ago and the Bucks a year before that: jumping the gun before free agency officially begins. It may cost the Sixers as well, given how early the rumors came out that Tucker would be leaving for Philadelphia.

“This type of tampering, frankly, is the least offensive to most executives. If you polled them, the general consensus would be, “What the hell did you want us to do?” News flash: Free agency is 90 percent done by the time it allegedly starts. Virtually every player of significance had a deal announced in the first 36 hours this year. Many of those announcements, no doubt, were still foot-dragged to provide the cover of plausible deniability.”

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