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NBA takes draft picks from Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls

NBA takes draft picks from Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls
The NBA took away a second-round draft pick from the Miami Heat on Wednesday due to violations the team committed this off-season linked to the acquisition of guard Kyle Lowry. Photo by the Miami Heat

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls each will forfeit their next available second-round picks in the NBA Draft because the violated league free agency rules, the NBA announced Wednesday.

The league said in a news release that the Bulls and Heat "violated league rules governing the timing of the season's free agency discussions."

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The disciplinary measures followed investigations into "free agency discussions engaged in by the Bulls with respect to Lonzo Ball and by the Heat with respect to Kyle Lowry," the league said.

The league determined that the Bulls and Heat participated in those discussions with player representatives before Aug. 2, the official start of the NBA free agency period.

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Lowry joined the Heat on Aug. 6 as part of a sign-and-trade between the Heat and the Toronto Raptors. Ball joined the Bulls two days later as part of a sign-and-trade between the Bulls and the New Orleans Pelicans.

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

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The Bulls said they were "glad the process has concluded" and look forward to the rest of the 2021-22 season. Ball, 24, is averaging 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game in 22 starts this season for the Bulls. He is under contract through the 2024-25 season.

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Lowry, 35, is averaging 12.5 points, 7.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game through 19 starts in 2021-22. He is signed through 2023-24.

The Bulls (14-8) battle the New York Knicks (11-10) at 7:30 p.m. EST Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Heat (13-8) host the Cleveland Cavaliers (11-10) at 7:30 p.m. EST Wednesday at FTX Arena in Miami.

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