With emotions regarding the future of elite players in small NBA markets running high today, the Houston Rockets almost were caught up in a different fiasco, this time surrounding Dwight Howard and the Magic.
It's been an open secret for months that Howard would probably seek to leave Orlando, which was confirmed when he requested a trade to the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets Thursday night.
The Magic, faced with the possibility of losing their franchise player the same year they open a brand-new state-of-the-art $500 million stadium, have not taken that development well. They were considering filing charges against New Jersey as well as Houston, according to a report from Sports Illustrated:
sam_amick Sam AmickThe root of Orlando's potential tampering charge against Houston, source says, is alleged meeting w/ coach Kevin McHale & Dwight Howard.
However, with Howard not asking for a trade to Houston, the case against the Rockets is not as strong as a potential case against the Nets, so it appears that Houston has narrowly avoided entangling themselves in a situation almost as complicated as the one that has enmeshed Paul and New Orleans:
ChrisMannixSI Chris MannixOrlando not pursuing tampering charges against Houston, source directly involved tells SI.com
With rumors regarded Paul, Howard and Deron Williams, the three marquee free agents of the class of 2012, seemingly changing by the hour, no one can know where the story goes from here.