Dam, the referee, decided last week that the Timberwolves had indeed struck an illegal deal with Smith, and Stern was free to impose any penalty he deemed appropriate for the club and its officials, in accordance with the NBA Constitution. Due to the verdict against the Timberwolves by NBA Commissioner David Stern for the illegal engagement of Joe Smith, they will not have a first-round draftpick for the next five years. First-round draftpicks for the Timberwolves: Fleisher eventually lost Garnett to his former partner Andy Miller and sued Miller. Trials are the nasty unrestricted fights that they are, which should swing to the surface, but… Smith`s secret contracts! NBA umpire Kenneth Dam decided Monday that the Timberwolves signed a secret deal with Smith in January 1999 worth up to $86 million over seven years. Smith`s former agent, Eric Fleisher, who negotiated the secret pact, could also expect severe penalties. Stern asked the National Basketball Player`s Association, which authorized agents, « to impose appropriate discipline on Mr. Fleisher. » The union could ban Fleisher from representing N.B.A. players, effectively taking him out of business. Imagine a world where Glen Taylor, owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, didn`t make an illegal deal with then-free agent Joe Smith. Suppose the Timberwolves weren`t fined $3.5 million and were allowed to keep four of their next five first-round drafts. In a well-known and even more transparent case, free agent Danny Manning signed a one-year contract with the Suns in 1994, with a gentlemen`s deal that followed a long-term contract.