Depending on the NBA’s definition of tampering, it looks like the Atlanta Hawks are guilty of just that. In a letter that was sent by someone associated with the team to people who have shown interest in becoming season ticket holders, it was openly stated that the Hawks will be going after Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. Considering that teams aren’t supposed to comment on free agents prior to the start of free agency, the Hawks could be in a lot of trouble.
Or not. If the Hawks can prove the letter was sent by a staffer with no knowledge of what the front office is thinking, they may be able to dodge a serious penalty. However, if the NBA lowers the boom, expect a huge fine and perhaps even the loss of draft picks.
Either way, you can bet the author of that letter is getting fired. You can also bet that the Hawks will have a new protocol regarding any outside communication with fans or anyone else.