The NBA is investigating allegations against Jerry West and LA Clippers involving the recruitment of Kawhi Leonard into the free agency in 2019, an ESPN League source confirmed.
TMZ Sports reported this week that a man who claims to be close to Leonard has filed a lawsuit against West and the Clippers, claiming that West owes him $ 2.5 million for helping the Clippers sign him. Leonard.
The NBA’s investigation into the allegations was first reported by The Athletic.
According to TMZ Sports, Johnny Wilkes claims that he informed West, a consultant for the Clippers, in April 2019 that he has close ties with Leonard and his All-Star uncle, Dennis Robertson, and that he could provide vital information to help the Clippers. to sign Leonard to the free agency.
The lawsuit says Wilkes claimed $ 2.5 million in aid and that West agreed to the terms. Wilkes is looking for an additional $ 2.5 million, according to TMZ Sports.
A representative for West told TMZ Sports that the consultant did not know of any legal action and said: “I do not know if any lawsuits are filed against me and I deny that I was engaged in any inappropriate behavior in relation to Kawhi Leonard.”
The NBA investigation would correspond to “Other indirect contact”, as detailed in Article 35A (3) of the NBA Constitution, which “prohibits indirect communications, such as those made through intermediaries.”
The Clippers could face a fine of up to $ 10 million and loss of packages if found guilty of violating the rule.
The Clippers signed Leonard for three years and $ 103.1 million, with a player option for the 2021-22 season in July 2019. The two-time final MVP joined the Clippers after changing him to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round pick and two first-round picks trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder by Paul George.
George signed a maximum contract extension last week that guarantees up to $ 226 million over the next five years.