The league has fined the Houston Rockets $150,000 for their "unauthorized public comments" about the signing of Dwight Howard during the league's annual moratorium, ESPN reported.
Teams can reach agreements with players after July 1 but can only officially sign a player after July 10 and in the interim are limited in what they can say about a potential signee.
Howard chose the Rockets over the Lakers on Friday night, saying he believes Houston gives him the best chance to win an NBA title.
"I just looked at both teams and I felt like Houston was going in one direction -- they got a lot of young players, they got a good coach in Kevin McHale and I just felt like having him as a coach, he could really help me in the post and help me develop like I want to," Howard said in an interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com. "That was mainly the big reason right there, and having the opportunity to grow with a team, a young team, like the Rockets. That's the reason why [I decided to leave]."
"It was tough," Howard said of leaving Los Angeles. "I enjoyed, for the most part, living here in L.A. I just really think the timing in L.A., it wasn't right for me. Maybe two years ago, or 2-3 years from now, it would have been the right time. But I just think right now the timing was off for me. That's not saying that L.A. is a bad place, but I just think it's all about timing and fit when you're talking about basketball. You can put anybody together on the court and expect them to win, but the pieces have to really fit in order for a team to be successful and it was very, very tough, man. It's probably one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make in my life."