Sixers docked two picks for free agency violations

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The Philadelphia 76ers have been stripped of a pair of second-round draft picks for holding conversations with free-agent players prior to the NBA's allotted time period, the league announced Monday.

Philadelphia will forfeit their second-round selections in the 2023 and 2024 drafts after being found to have engaged in early discussions with forwards P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr., both of whom later signed with the team.

The NBA said in a statement that the 76ers fully cooperated with the investigation.

Tucker, a 12-year veteran and defensive specialist, signed a three-year, $33million contract in July, a move made possible by star guard James Harden declining a $47m player option and re-signing with the 76ers at a lower salary to create cap flexibility.

House, a reserve averaging 2.7 points per game this season, was signed to a two-year deal worth around $8.4m.

Philadelphia are the fourth team in the past two years to lose second-round picks for a violation in player negotiation rules. The Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls were previously hit with similar penalties.