Feb 22, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers small forward Metta World Peace (15) high fives center Dwight Howard (12) during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Now that the moratorium period is over, teams can officially sign free agents and make trades. The Houston Rockets are set to officially introduce free agent Dwight Howard this weekend. His press conference is scheduled for Saturday; but not before the Rockets first deal with some league matters.
A league spokesman confirms the team and its personnel were fined $150,000 by the NBA for comments made about the All-Star center during the moratorium period.
Right after Howard officially committed to leave the Los Angeles Lakers and join the Rockets last Friday, general manager Daryl Morey gave an interview later that night with ComcastSportsNet Houston in which he talked about the recruitment and landing of him. Kevin McHale also discussed Howard over the weekend at the Orlando Summer League.
Morey also made at least five Tweets after Howard’s decision was revealed, which was another violation. The Rockets also were fined in June for tampering after a story on Houston’s official team website discussed players who were still under contract with other teams but were expected to be free agents in July, but these fines seem like a small bump in the road for the Rockets, who have officially began the Dwight Howard era.