Lakers fined $500,000 for tampering with Paul George

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CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 06: Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers brings the ball up against the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center on March 6, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The Los Angeles Lakers have been fined $500,000 for violating the NBA’s anti-tampering rule in connection with Paul George, the NBA announced Thursday.

The fine was handed down after an independent investigation by the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Lakers General Manager Rob Relinka had communications with the agent representing George which amounted to an expression of interest in him while he was under contract. The Lakers had previously been warned about tampering when Lakers President Magic Johnson made comments about George during a TV appearance.

The investigation didn’t reveal evidence of any agreement for the Lakers to acquire George.

The NBA prohibits teams from getting in the way of other teams’ contracts with players, including expressing public interest in a player who is currently under contract with another team or informing the agent of another team’s player of interest by one’s own team in that player.

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