The Houston Rockets may have won the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, but not for lack of negative publicity recently. The team was fined $150,000 by the league Tuesday for making public statements and comments about Howard’s free agency decision during the moratorium period which lasts until July 10th.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey took to TV in Houston as well as Twitter to discuss his feelings about the landing of Howard. During the moratorium period between July 1-10, teams are prohibited from talking about any free agent contracts or decisions in public.
When the deal becomes official, anything is fair game of course. But, having violated the rules, the team was fined. I’m sure Morey is just fine with a little slap on the wrist if it meant he could express his excitement about his new superstar in Houston.
Howard chose the Rockets over other leading candidates like the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks. On Friday, he began telling each team one by one that they were out of the running until it finally came down to the Rockets as the last team standing.
Houston still would like to add another piece to join Howard and James Harden in effort to create their own ‘big three,’ as this tactic has become popular among NBA teams with extra cash during the summers of the past couple of years. Josh Smith was a rumored target until he signed with the Detroit Pistons, and now the Rockets aren’t left with much.
I’m sure Morey will enlighten us about his plans for the rest of the summer and the players he’s targeting very soon. Hopefully, though, it is after the moratorium period has ended. Only one more day, sir. You can do it.