By Veronica An
Shortly after the 1999 Lockout, a salary cap scandal erupted in the NBA. Joe Smith, formerly of the Golden State Warriors, had a secret agreement to sign three one-year deals in a row to establish Bird rights with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Named after Larry Bird, Bird rights allow a team to go over the NBA salary cap in order to re-sign a player. The secret agreement between Smith and the Timberwolves was discovered following the 1999-2000 season during investigations for a lawsuit between between his agent and his agent’s former partner. The NBA ordered that the Timberwolves forfeit their next five first-round draft picks and pay a $3.5 million fine. Despite this scandal, Smith went on to play for the Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves (again), Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks, and Los Angeles Lakers. He played for a total of 13 teams during his 16 years in the NBA and ended his career with a career average of 10.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.