Update, Dec. 17, 5:30 pm PT: The Clippers have confirmed the investigation and provided official comment: “The lawsuit filed by Johnny Wilkes is replete with inaccuracies and the allegations are baseless. (The team is) cooperating with the NBA in its investigation, which is standard ... They are providing the NBA with evidence that the allegations are false.”
Original report, Dec. 17, 3:20 pm PT:
A recent news report from TMZ has had potentially huge aftereffects, and it all relates to the LA Clippers.
The celebrity news organization released a story earlier this week about a man who claimed to be close to Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, and who is reportedly suing Jerry West for agreeing to pay the man $2.5 million — which he says he has not received — to successfully help get Leonard to the Clips.
Lest you think this came completely out of wholecloth, the allegation is apparently serious enough that the NBA is planning to investigate West and the team, per a report Thursday from The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
Source: The NBA has launched an investigation into the Jerry West/Clippers allegations surrounding the Kawhi Leonard acquisition that were detailed in a TMZ report earlier this week.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) December 17, 2020
Obviously, an announcement of an investigation itself does not necessarily mean guilt or innocence. You investigate to look into things and see if wrongdoing was done. In this case, the specific allegation pertinent to the NBA would appear to be the Clippers paying for benefits beyond merely the contract signed with Leonard.
But what could happen if the NBA finds wrongdoing? That remains to be seen. NBA fans have been speculating wildly what it could mean, but for now we’ll have to wait for some more reporting and of course, any official word from the league itself.