Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob gave a recent quote about the team’s interest in Ben Simmons, in which he unequivocally denied any trade talks.
Lacob went as far as to not use Simmons’ name, which is a rather shocking display of trying to avoid the NBA’s league-wide tampering rules. The Warriors’ owner didn’t want to get fined, which isn’t surprising given he makes a lot of money.
That didn’t stop Adam Silver from levying a significant warning the Warriors’ way in the form of — you guessed it — a fine!
Here’s exactly what Lacob said, per the San Francisco Chronicle:
"“In some ways, it doesn’t really fit what we’re doing. He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know,” Lacob told the Chronicle. “He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another.”"
Warriors: Joe Lacob tanked Ben Simmons’ trade value
Lacob took the Warriors out of the running for Simmons, at least publicly, by stating that he doesn’t believe he and Draymond Green can share the floor together.
Whether that’s true or not, it’s also important to look at the measures Lacob went to to avoid saying Simmons’ name. Silver didn’t care. The world knows who Lacob is speaking about when he used ‘he’ and ‘player’.
But is it tampering when Lacob is denying any interest, and instead just commenting on why he doesn’t want Simmons on his team? That, seemingly, would be the opposite.