The Rockets are still feeling the fallout from general manager Daryl Morey's tweet supporting Hong Kong protestors.
According to ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz, the Rockets have seen a significant dip in revenue from canceled Chinese sponsorship deals.
"No team has felt the brunt of the fallout more than the Rockets. League sources say the franchise has lost more than $7 million in revenue this season from canceled Chinese sponsorship agreements and nearly $20 million overall when terminated multiyear deals are calculated," reports Arnovitz.
ESPN reports Houston isn't the only organization feeling the effects of Morey's tweet.
"Chinese companies that had existing sponsorship deals with NBA teams notified franchises early the previous week that those partnerships were being terminated until further notice. One NBA team says it immediately slashed revenue projections derived from Chinese sponsorship for the 2019-20 season to zero."
On Oct. 4, Morey tweeted his support for Hong Kong protestors one week before the Nets and Lakers traveled to China to play in exhibition games. His tweet included a photo of protestors with the caption, "Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong."
As the fallout from his tweet continued, a pair of NBA Cares events in Shanghai were canceled this fall and China's state-run TV network, CCTV, suspended its NBA programming.
Amid the tension between the league and China, CCTV has yet to air any NBA games this season. ESPN partner Tencent has begun streaming NBA games in China except for contests involving the Rockets.
Players are also at risk of losing endorsement deals, including Rockets star James Harden. A source told ESPN that "Harden's endorsement agreement with Shanghai's SPD Bank Credit Card is imperiled."
Multiple NBA executives told ESPN that they would like the league to develop guidelines for how to handle sensitive topics like China instead of leaving players and personnel to figure it out on their own.