NBA executives and player agents believe the Bulls and Heat received a proverbial slap on the wrist for violating league policies in the free agent acquisitions of Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report writes. The teams will have to forfeit their next available second-round pick but that is unlikely to prevent other teams from trying to circumvent the rules in pursuit of free agents. Second-round picks appear more available than ever, Fischer notes. As part of the league’s investigation and subsequent penalty, Chicago and Miami can’t trade any of their currently held future second-round draft picks until the forfeiture is resolved, Fischer reports.
We have more from around the basketball world:
- Due to the success of LaMelo Ball and Josh Giddey, Australia is increasingly viewed by European prospects as a springboard to the NBA, according to Ken Maguire of the Associated Press. According to NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger, the Next Stars program has become so popular, the league had to turn “people away in droves.” Four of this season’s seven Next Stars are from Europe and another French prospect is playing for the New Zealand Breakers.
- ESPN’s Bobby Marks takes an in-depth look at this year’s trade market, breaking down the league’s players into three categories — those with expiring contracts; those on multi-year deals; and those with trade restrictions. Marks notes that only the Thunder can acquire a player via cap space, so the rest of the teams will need to trade salaries that match within 125%, 175% or $5MM.
- The Suns’ Monty Williams and the Bulls’ Billy Donovan have been named the league’s Coaches of the Month for games played in October and November, NBA Communications tweets. Phoenix is on the verge of setting a franchise record for most consecutive victories, while Chicago has a 14-8 record.