So it turns out, the Los Angeles Clippers' handling of the DeAndre Jordan offseason circus -- you know, when he verbally committed to signing with the Dallas Mavericks only to go back on his word and re-sign with the Clips -- wasn't exactly on the up and up. The NBA announced on Tuesday they have fined the Clippers' organization $250,000 for violating the anti-circumvention rules.

According to the NBA, part of the presentation the Clippers made to Jordan on July 2 involved a third-party endorsement opportunity for the center, which is not something they're allowed to offer. It was deemed that the potential opportunity did not swing the decision for Jordan to return to the Clippers (a four-year, $87 million contract probably had more to do with that), so it doesn't affect the transaction between both parties. It will just cost the Clippers a quarter of a million dollars. From the NBA:

The NBA announced today that it has fined the Los Angeles Clippers $250,000 for violating NBA rules prohibiting teams from offering players unauthorized business or investment opportunities.

The violation involved a presentation made by the Clippers to free agent DeAndre Jordan on July 2 that improperly included a potential third-party endorsement opportunity for the player.  While the NBA’s investigation ultimately concluded that the presentation of this opportunity had no impact on Jordan’s decision to re-sign with the Clippers, the team’s conduct nevertheless violated the league’s anti-circumvention rules.

The NBA’s anti-circumvention rules prohibit teams from, among other things, providing or arranging for others to provide any form of compensation to a player unless such compensation is included in a player contract or otherwise expressly permitted under the CBA.

The reason this rule is in place because you don't want connected business partners trying to sweeten the pot and circumvent the salary cap situations. For example, if you had the Knicks offering a four-year, $20 million deal to a free agent but saying there was an opportunity for Cablevision or another connected company to pay them an endorsement or business opportunity worth $100 million, that would obviously benefit the cap situation of the team while still providing a lot of money to the player, helping them choose that franchise.

This is an important rule, but it wasn't such an extreme violation that it endangered the agreement between Jordan and Clippers after the league reviewed it.

The Clippers offered up something they shouldn't have. (USATSI)
The Clippers offered up something they shouldn't have. (USATSI)