There’s no secret the Atlanta Hawks are targeting Chris Paul and Dwight Howard come this summer’s free agency period. With that said, under the NBA collective bargaining agreement, it is tampering if you comment on another team’s players before the NBA free agency period begins. In this case, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are part of the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers until July 1st 2013.
The Atlanta Hawks may have just broken those rules. In a letter to potential ticket buyers it names Paul and Howard as players the Hawks will target this offseason.
The letter names Paul and Howard, both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, as players the Hawks will target this offseason. Written on team letterhead, the letter includes the headline: “Hot New Player news: Chris Paul and Dwight Howard,” and claims that player interest in joining the Hawks is “skyrocketing.”
“The buzz around our offseason is more than heating up,” the letter said, according to the paper. “With massive cap space, 4 draft picks, and free agency rapidly approaching, we sit in the best position in the NBA. Player interest is skyrocketing as the possibilities of landing Chris Paul & Dwight Howard become more and more of a reality.
“This is your opportunity to get on board before its [sic] too late. Once we solidify our signings there will be no seats left.”
The Hawks have since commented on the letter acknowledging it was a mistake. The NBA has yet to comment on the letter.
Hawks president Bob Williams acknowledged Tuesday that the sales letter, first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was an “unfortunate” mistake made by a team ticket representative.