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Rockets Fined $150,000 for Violating Free Agent Moratorium

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The Houston Rockets received a $150,000 for publicly discussing Dwight Howard's move to Houston before the end of a free agent moratorium on July 10.

$150,000 laid on its side is "this wide"
$150,000 laid on its side is "this wide"
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dwight Howard has made a public decision to join the Houston Rockets.

Howard has received the scorn of the Lakers and the City of Los Angeles.

Howard is in Houston.

Despite these realities, Howard's move is not a done deal until he signs a contract. Which the NBA does not allow until July 11.

Players and teams operate under a "free-agency moratorium period" between July 1 - 10.

Notice the lack of a jersey holding press conference at the Toyota Center? That's because of this period.

The Fine:

For the second time this free agency period, the Rockets have been fined by the NBA.

This time it's a whopping $150,000 for publicly discussing Dwight's decision to join the Rockets during the moratorium.

According to USA Today the fine stems from a TV interview and series of Tweets from Rockets GM Daryl Morey:

After Dwight Howard decided last week he would sign with Houston Rockets, which was first reported by USA TODAY Sports, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey went on Twitter and TV in Houston and discussed Howard's decision. That is against league rules during the moratorium, which lasts from July 1-10 this year.

The league has not released full details or reasoning of the fine. They reportedly emailed league executives to spread word of the fine. Presumably as a cautionary tale.

Here's a few of the Tweets presumably in question:

And here's the CSN interview:

That's $150,000 right there. I'd expect a bit of Twitter silence from Daryl Morey in the aftermath of the fine.

While this is a lot of money, I'd venture Daryl Morey 'don't care.'

No word if the NBA will fine Daryl Morey for trolling Royce White on Twitter.

The Rockets were fined for tampering in June. It was a questionable fine.