NEW YORK -- The National Basketball Association today announced that Commissioner David Stern has taken the following actions based upon an arbitrator's ruling on Monday that the Minnesota Timberwolves, Joe Smith, and agent Eric Fleisher entered into a secret agreement in violation of the NBA's salary cap rules:
- directed the forfeiture of Minnesota's own first-round draft picks in the 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 NBA Drafts;
- fined the team $3.5 million; and
- voided the player contract between Smith and the Timberwolves for the 2000-01 season, along with all contracts previously entered into by Smith and the team.
In addition to these penalties, the Collective Bargaining Agreement also authorizes the Commissioner to suspend team personnel who were involved in the making of the secret agreement. Those suspensions will be determined after subsequent proceedings before the arbitrator.
The NBA has also requested that, as required by the CBA, the Players Association impose appropriate discipline on Mr. Fleisher for his violation of the salary cap rules.
On December 9, 2000
MINNESOTA -- Minnesota Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale agreed to take a leave of absence until July 31. Owner Glen Taylor agreed to take a leave of absence until July 31. Because of their cooperation in doing this without going through arbitration the NBA agreed to restore their 2003 first round draft pick.
December 28, 2003
NEW YORK-- The NBA announced today that it has restored the Minnesota Timberwolvesâ€™ first round pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. This pick had been forfeited by the Timberwolves in December 2000 in connection with the salary cap circumvention case involving the Timberwolves and Joe Smith.
â€œIn light of the other penalties that have been imposed on the Timberwolves, and the teamâ€™s conduct since the Smith matter concluded,â€ said NBA Commissioner David Stern, â€œwe feel it is appropriate to restore the Timberwolvesâ€™ first round pick in 2005.â€
As a result of the Smith case, the Timberwolves will have forfeited their first round picks in the 2001, 2002, and 2004 NBA Drafts, and paid a fine to the league of $3.5 million.