Per Amick, this is the second-largest penalty for breaking the anti-tampering rules in league history.
The NBA fined the Lakers $500,000 for tampering involving forward Paul George, alleging in a statement that General Manager Rob Pelinka spoke with George's agent, Aaron Mintz, and offered "a prohibited expression of interest in the player while he was under contract". After the investigation, the Lakers have been fined $500,000 for their actions.
The fine followed an investigation, conducted by an independent law firm, after the Pacers filed tampering charges. It has been well known that they have been coveting the chance to acquire George, who is a local kid from Palmdale, a city in the center of northern Los Angeles County. Along with George, the Lakers and LeBron James continued to be linked as his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers remains uncertain.
No such deal ever occurred, but after the results of the tampering investigation, it appears Pelinka and George's CAA representation made contact while he was under contract with the Pacers.
Magic Johnson's comments to Jimmy Kimmel about Paul George drew scrutiny. The NBA issued him a warning, then found Pelinka culpable of making official contact with George's representation. On an episode of ESPN's "The Jump" this summer, reporter Brian Windhorst said, "the Lakers have all but put up a billboard announcing they want to sign" George. Both Magic and Pelinka are first-time National Basketball Association executives; these waters are new for them. In addition to taking his family and friends on a month long European vacation, Magic also gifted the crew members aboard the yacht customized Lakers jerseys.