There have been some very silly things that professional teams have done. The Atlanta Hawks broke the cardinal rule about talking about players they weren’t supposed to in a letter sent out to potential ticket buyers. They mentioned free agents Chris Paul and Dwight Howard in the letter, which is something you can’t do. I’m sure the NBA will have something to say about this in the end, but Atlanta looks bad no matter what.
I don’t care if you are perusing these players and really want them on your team, but you can’t afford to do something like this. Everyone knows the rules in regards to free agents. The Hawks broke that rule and should be punished for it in all honesty. I don’t know if it would be a draft pick next year or a massive fine, but this can’t go unpunished. I would want to take away the pick and give out the fine as well, but that’s up to David Stern, if he wants to do anything at all.
The Hawks obviously are going to be need to rebuild somewhat next season with Josh Smith likely leaving town. The addition of Paul and/or Howard would definitely help, but I think the team blew their chance at that with this move. The fans will still come out to see games next season. They may show up in larger numbers if the team can get one of those two players, but the mistake has been made. The Hawks could be paying for this error for a long time to come.