The NBA fined three teams for tampering, including the Hawks who are going after Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. (Getty Images)
The Atlanta Hawks are one of three teams to be fined for violating the NBA's rule on tampering, reports USA Today.
The other two teams were not named in the report and there is no mention of the amount of the fines each team will receive.
Tampering punishments can include suspension of the offending person, prohibition of the offending team from hiring the person being tampered with, draft pick forfeiture, and individual and/or team fines of up to $5 million.
The website obtained an internal league memo that reads:
"The conduct at issue involved statements by a team employee to the media, a team email to prospective season ticket purchasers, and articles posted online on a team website, each related to players who are currently under contract to other teams but who will become free agents this summer."
The Hawks drew the league's ire when a person in their ticket-sales department sent emails out that mentioned free-agents Chris Paul and Dwight Howard to potential season ticket buyers. Free agency starts in the NBA on July 1.
Hawks president Bob Williams said last week that the sales letter was an “unfortunate” mistake made by a team ticket representative.
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The letter names Paul and Howard as players the Hawks will target this offseason. Written on team letterhead, the letter has the headline: “Hot New Player news: Chris Paul and Dwight Howard,” and says the two stars’ interest in joining the Hawks is “skyrocketing.”