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Doc Rivers dismisses tampering charges against 76ers, “it’s not true”

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NBA investigates if Philadelphia 76ers are guilty of fraud James Hardencontract this offseason when he forfeited his last season for $47.4 million and re-signed for a $33 million one-year contract (two years, $68.6 million in total), giving the team room to get PJ Tucker as well as House of Danuel.

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Doc Rivers shrugged off the accusation of falsification while speaking to Vince Carter on ESPN’s “The VC Show: Podcast” (CBS Sports hat tip):

You get over it, because it’s not true. To be honest, when James [Harden] did it and said it… in the first place, we didn’t know what we were going to do with the money we received. And look, James also won because James could get a one-year contract. Instead, we gave him (two) years. Thus, both sides benefited greatly. Look, we did it, James did it…

“I guarantee you that Daryl Morey had no idea what James was going to do. I remember talking to him the day before James had a choice or no and he said, “We’ve got five hours left.” I mean, it was Daryl Morey, so it goes to show that he had no idea… I really believed that James was not going to agree, that he would try to make a long-term deal. But I didn’t know, I can tell you. That’s for sure.”

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Harden, by waiving his contract, provided the 76ers with the opportunity to sign Tucker to a three-year mid-range elimination contract (the deal was announced about one minute into free agency) and to bring in Danuel House. Harden said he asked Maury for “what’s left” of the space the 76ers had under a hard cap, $33 million this season, and re-signed for that plus a second year (with a player option). It was taken by some in the league as a “wink” deal that would see Harden rewarded with a big purse next summer.

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If Harden’s resignation and re-signing had been prearranged, it would have violated the league’s interference rules. The league is also investigating the Knicks for interfering with a contract signing. Jalen Brunson as a free agent.

Even if the league found the teams guilty, the “punishment” would most likely only be the loss of a second round pick. This is not the NFL.



Source: nba.nbcsports.com

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