Everybody knows that tampering is the NBA's worst kept secret. They can fine teams and players as much as they want, they'll never stop doing it. It's not just one team/player either. Everyone tampers, yes, even your favorite team. Some are just better than others. If you're not tampering you're not trying as far as I'm concerned. It's why I find it so sad when teams (cough cough Celtics) complain about tampering just because they lost someone while also tampering themselves at the same time and landing a new point guard. So you can only imagine that once everyone makes their way down to Orlando, tampering will be making the trip as well.
Now that we know where everyone is staying, it made me wonder what every team might be trying to pull off. You have to remember that when it comes to tampering, it's not always an immediate thing. Sometimes you just have to plant the seed years in advance, so you'll see some names here that may not make sense for 2020-21 but are more a long term play.
In my opinion, this hotel might have the most tampering of any resort. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that teams like LAL/MIA/TOR are going to be putting a full court press on Giannis. Not sure how the Lakers will fit him in, but let's not worry about that stuff for the sake of this blog. You know LeBron big game fishes. Miami already said they are 100% going after Giannis for 2021, same shit with TOR and their front office ties to Giannis. But don't fool yourself with the idea that's all there will be.
You bet your ass Jayson Tatum and Kemba are going to tamper with Donovan Mitchell. That might sound crazy, but this is what I was talking about with the long term play. Everyone knows the Jazz are going to offer Mitchell an extension. But after that? When he's in his prime at like 27, the same time the Jays will be and Kemba most likely won't be on the team? I mean Tatum and Mitchell are best friends, this is a no brainer.
That's not all though. Team like LAL/BOS/DEN need shooting. What if MIA needs to create space for Giannis and can't keep Duncan Robinson? Those three teams absolutely should be interested. Guys like Paul Millsap will also be a free agent this summer, at 35 he's most likely not coming with that same $30M price tag, so maybe someone like TOR/BOS/LAL will kick the tires there as well.
In this group, for me the big prize is Victor Oladipo. It's sounding more and more like his days in Indiana might be numbered and he's an UFA in 2021. I think we can rule out the Thunder since he's already been there, but I'm looking at both the Sixers and Nets as big time tamperers(?). We know BKN wants to bring in another star, that's been reported and a healthy Oladipo fits the bill. I'm including the Sixers partly because he ended up there in my 2K dynasty and I feel like 2K always tells the truth with that shit. I don't know how they would afford him, you may remember they are paying Al Horford and Tobias Harris $280M, but they have shown the ability to successfully tamper in the past.
I also think Joe Harris will be a hot commodity for some teams in this group. He's a free agent this summer and you have teams like PHI/OKC/HOU/BOS that he makes sense with. We know the Rockets love shooters for their system, so this wouldn't surprise me.
There's a good chance these teams aren't even in Orlando long enough to tamper, but there are some options here as well. What if Dame and CJ try and get into Beal's ear about coming out West. That trio would be fucking terrifying. The Pelicans need help on the defensive end in the worst way possible, well what if they brought in Aron Baynes to lock down their center spot? He's a defensive monster, won't be expensive, and is a UFA this summer.
This is a long shot play, but what if De'Aaron Fox starts to use his Kentucky connection with Devin Booker to get him to join a different team in the same division. That would be something. They'd probably have to move Buddy Hield but whatever you figure out a way. A potential backcourt with Fox/Booker with some Bogdanovic sprinkled in and maybe a healthy Bagley? Feels like the Kings would finally get over the hump and be a playoff team.
Those were just the first ones that popped into my head, but if you have another tampering theory I didn't mention I'm all ears. It's impossible to not love tampering and the drama that it causes, unless it's your team that loses the player. If that happens well, you should have tampered better yourself in an effort to replace that guy.