Adam Silver finally comments on infamous Raptors-Knicks lawsuit

Toronto Raptors (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors seemed to have finally calmed things down after a very noisy start to the offseason, and then James Dolan came bounding in with a lawsuit. Dolan wants his Atlantic Division rival to lawyer up in a move that could land Toronto in some hot water legally.

The Raptors were sued by the New York Knicks, with new employee Ike Azotam and head coach Darko Rajakovic specifically named in the lawsuit. Azotam is accused of stealing proprietary information about the Knicks and sharing it with members of his new power structure.

Some of the materials alleged to have been stolen include prep books from the 2022-23 season, video scouting files, and reports on play frequency. NBA commissioner Adam Silver was finally asked about the lawsuit, and he took a hands-off approach to the whole ordeal.

Silver, who made his name on the legal side of the NBA, came in with a very legalese response to the proceedings. Silver said that he is generally unaware of the severity of the lawsuit and what the Raptors’ response to the lawsuit will be, deeming it “appropriate to withhold judgment.”

Adam Silver responds to Knicks-Toronto Raptors lawsuit.

If the Raptors are going to be dinged for this infraction, many insiders have postulated the penalty will likely involve a fine and a potential loss of a second-round pick. The matter of how much the Raptors are culpable for this is for the courts to decide.

The most damning indictment of the lawsuit involves Rajakovic, who is alleged to have benefitted directly from Azotam’s thievery. While this could spoil his debut season and get the team in trouble, there is still a lot of language and facts that need to be litigated.

Not everyone believes Toronto committed the crime of the century and should have their feet held to the fire as a result. While former NBA coach Steve Jones acknowledged that Azotam made a short-sighted mistake, he also called the whole lawsuit “petty.”

These two teams have developed a fairly vicious rivalry in the last few years, and this should only make things even more touchy when these teams do business. It remains to be seen if the lawsuit will be settled out of court (the likely option) or head to a trial.