In the wake of Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson saying Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons expressed interest in chatting about being a "big guard," the NBA is investigating whether there was inappropriate contact between the two sides.
"The league office is looking into whether any contact took place between Ben Simmons and the Los Angeles Lakers that violated NBA rules,” league spokesperson Mike Bass told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka contacted 76ers GM Elton Brand to discuss the possibility of allowing Simmons to speak with Johnson. The Sixers' executive denied the request.
"No issue," Brand said, according to Wojnarowski. "I have a great relationship with Ben and (his agent) Rich (Paul) and we expect him to be a Sixer for a long time. He has taken interest in chatting with some of the game's all-time greats and we're supportive.
"I had brief dialogue with Rob Pelinka, who I've known for a long time, but nothing is planned. Our collective focus is on making a postseason push. Again, we're not sweating this - end of story."
Johnson told reporters on Sunday that Simmons reached out in an attempt to gain knowledge from the Hall of Fame point guard.
"(Simmons) reached out to me, not to me directly; to the Lakers to find out if we can get together this summer. I said, 'Hey, you've got to clear that with the league,' and if everybody - the Sixers sign off, we sign off, the league signs off - fine, I will do that ... But I love his game. I love his vision. I love also, too, he's very, in terms of basketball IQ, very high basketball IQ."
The Lakers have tampered on multiple occasions. Since Johnson became team president two years ago, Los Angeles has been hit with two tampering fines - $500,000 in 2017 for Pelinka communicating with Paul George's agent, and $50,000 for Johnson's comments on Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.