Heat won’t have to pay their tampering penalty for 6 years

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After being fined their next second-round draft pick, it seems the Miami Heat won’t have to pay out their fine for another six years. 

As the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat soar through the Eastern Conference on the wings of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, an investigation hung over the heads of these teams as soon as these players were acquired.

Since August, the NBA has been investigating evidence of tampering in the rapid sign-and-trade deals the Bulls and Heat negotiated within days to acquire Ball and Lowry.

This week, an answer emerged: the Bulls and Heat would each be penalized by losing their next second-round pick.

But as The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov notes, it’s going to take years for the Bulls and Heat to experience these penalties. The Bulls won’t have another second-round pick until 2026, and the Heat won’t have their own until 2028.

Miami Heat’s next second-round pick is in 2028

Over the past several years, the Heat have used their second-round picks to leverage player trades throughout the league.

Here is a summary of where their second-round picks have gone in exchange for which players.

  • 2022: Indiana Pacers in 3-team trade (2019)
  • 2023: Dallas Mavericks trade for A.J. Hammons (2017)
  • 2024: Cleveland Cavaliers trade for Dwayne Wade (2018), Atlanta Hawks trade for 2019 second-round draft pick (2019)
  • 2025: Indiana Pacers in 3-team trade (2019)
  • 2026: Indiana Pacers in 3-team trade (2019)
  • 2027: Oklahoma City Thunder trade for Trevor Ariza (2021)

The history of these trades reveals that second-round picks are commonly used as leverage to acquire key players immediately, such as Dwayne Wade. But the short-term acquisitions, which may only keep the player in Miami for a year or two, have long-term implications: that’s now seven years that the Miami Heat won’t be able to choose their own player in the second round of the NBA Draft.

Wade has retired, Ariza is on the Lakers, Bol Bol is on the Nuggets, Hammons never played a game for the Heat, and KZ Okpala, the 2019 draft pick that came from the three-way Pacers trade, is no longer in the NBA as well.

Spanning back to 2017, these trades will now affect the team for the next decade.

Although the tampering charge cost them another second-round draft pick, the Kyle Lowry acquisition is already proving more valuable than any other gamble within this span of ten years.

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