Houston Rockets: Mess With David Stern's Rule Book, Get Fined

By Ryan Heckman

The Houston Rockets want Dwight Howard and Chris Paul bad – real bad. Today it was found out that the Rockets were one of three teams to get fined for tampering. One of those teams is still undisclosed while the other – the Atlanta Hawks – has no shame in admitting it.

The rule in violation for both teams says that there can be no official statements made to the media regarding players who are currently under contract with another team.

Both the Hawks and the Rockets were fined an unknown amount for emails and memos sent out to prospective ticket holders, as well as hinting in statements to the media in regards to potential free agent signings.

Atlanta seemed pretty low key about the whole ordeal, stating they are fully aware of the situation and do not deny any of the accusations. The cause of the accusations for Houston are rumored to have come from articles written by Jason Friedman on Rockets.com, but nothing has been publicly released regarding the sure-fire cause.

The Rockets are going to be big players in free agency this year, having cleared an impressive amount of cap room in order to sign at least one – if not two – star players. Paul and Howard are targets of a few teams, including the Dallas Mavericks who have been given the luxury of their face of the franchise – Dirk Nowitzki – taking a pay cut.

It is still very early, but the Rockets seem to be one of the biggest possibilities for Paul and Howard. The challenge for the Rockets is going to be just like everybody else’s – the sales pitch. James Harden is a nice start to that aspect of the process. We’ll see how the two superstars feel here in a couple of weeks.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for RantSports.com also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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