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NBA

Heat, Bulls punished with loss of picks over Lowry, Ball deals

The NBA hit the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls with a loss of draft picks as a result of their courtship of Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball before the offseason.

Update:
Heat, Bulls punished with loss of picks over Lowry, Ball deals
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The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls lost draft picks for early free-agent discussions that led to recruiting Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball respectively, the NBA announced on Wednesday.

Lowry and Ball two blockbuster moves over the summer

Lowry swapped the Toronto Raptors for the Heat, who acquired the NBA champion in a sign-and-trade three-year, $85million deal that sent Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa the other way.

Ball – a restricted free agent – was traded to the Bulls by the New Orleans Pelicans on a four-year, $80m contract for Garrett Temple and Toms Satoransky.

Early talks land Bulls and Heat in hot water

The NBA investigated the moves and punished the Heat and Bulls with the loss of second-round drafts picks because of premature discussions

Miami and Chicago were found to have violated league rules governing the timing of this season's free-agency discussions.

"While we disagree, we accept the league's decision," the Heat said in a statement.

The Bulls added: "We are glad this process has concluded and look forward to the rest of our season."

Ball having a career shooting year

In his first season with the Heat (13-8), six-time All-Star Lowry has been averaging 12.5 points, 7.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game, while shooting at 42.6 per cent and 31.0 from the three-point range.

Ball has starred for the new-look Bulls (14-8) in 2021-22, averaging 12.5 points, 4.8 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game – he has been shooting a career-high 42.6 per cent from the floor and a career-best 44.4 per cent from beyond the arc.

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