The “Dwecision” has already taken over that basketball public’s imagination. And Dwight Howard is bringing Chris Paul along for the ride.
At least 3 NBA teams have reportedly been fined for tampering, with the Houston Rockets and the Atlanta Hawks being the first two to be named or own up. The league sent out a memo to the NBA’s 30 teams announcing the penalties, but with no specific fines or teams mentioned. You can bet the fines won’t be small though, they will probably be equal in size to the giant jackpots on offer at top casino site Androidcasino.ca , as the NBA has to strictly enforce its rules.
The Atlanta Hawks were the first to acknowledge and accept wrongdoing on their behalf and said that they fully understand and respect the NBA’s decision. It has then been alleged that the 2nd team is the Houston Rockets but no definite confirmation has been issued from this team as yet. The 3rd team to incur a fine has yet to step forward or be named.
The infringement or tampering that occurred from all teams’ centers around the naming and discussing of free agent targets before the free agency moratorium begins on July 1. The memo released by the NBA refers to this and discusses the conduct at issue involving statements by a team’s employee to the media, articles posted online and an e-mail to prospective season ticket purchasers being at the forefront of the drama. In these communications it appears that players who were under contract to other teams for the duration of the season were discussed prior to them becoming free agents in the summer.
The Hawks were clearly guilty of this as they recently sent out an email on a team letterhead to prospective season ticket buyers that mentioned both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. Both are free agents and the Hawks mentioned the possibility of landing them for the following season.
This will be the second time in 3 years that the Hawks have been fined for tampering, as in 2010 co-owner Michael Gearon mentioned LeBron James before free agency. This time around it was apparently an errant season-ticket rep who mentioned the free agents and Hawks president Bob Williams stated that no ill intent was intended, however rules are rules and they accept responsibility and the fine.
It won’t be long before the 3rd team name is disclosed.
While the Rockets have made their intentions to pursue Dwight Howard loud and clear, one other superstar should also expect to get a call from Houston on July 1. Jonathan Fiegen of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Rockets have made detailed preparations to pursue Chris Paul in free agency.
Howard has long been the presumed top target for Houston but one source familiar with the team’s plans insists that Paul is just as much in play for Houston as Howard is.
Rumors about Howard’s interest in playing for Houston have been swirling for over a month. Paul, on the other hand, has been mum about his intentions in free agency and has yet to give any indication about whether he’d be interested in playing for the Rockets.
Rockets stars James Harden and Chandler Parsons have both already spoken with Howard about the possibility of playing for the Rockets. Harden, who is close with Paul from their days as backcourt mates on team USA, will presumably pitch Houston to Paul in the coming weeks.
Although Chris Paul hasn’t shown signs of interest toward Houston in the past, it’s easy to see why the Rockets’ front office believes they can entice the league’s most popular floor general. After all, Paul is, perhaps, at his best when he pushes the floor in transition and the Rockets had the fastest paced offense in the entire league last season.
Regardless, Fiegen speculates that Howard’s stated interest in Houston could possibly stop the team from ever seriously reaching out to Paul:
“According to an individual with knowledge of Howard’s thinking, Howard has been interested in playing for Rockets coach Kevin McHale and assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff, citing among other things McHale’s style and playing history as a Hall of Famer.”
The Rockets would have to clear about $3 million in cap space to sign either Howard or Paul to a max contract. Regardless, the team has a number of young trade assets that they would be willing to part with to create the necessary room.
Now, let’s see what else is going on around the league:
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