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Chandler Parsons talks daily with Dwight Howard about signing with the Rockets

Jun 22, 2013, 11:00 PM EST

Los Angeles Lakers Dwight Howard goes up to shoot under pressure from Houston Rockets Chandler Parsons during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles

The Rockets are trying to clear cap space in order to pursue Dwight Howard, and he reportedly views that favorably.

It’s one of the subtle ways teams are allowed to communicate, indirectly obviously, with free agents before July 1. Of course, teams can use impermissible methods, too.

But there’s also another way Houston is getting its message to Howard: Chandler Parsons.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

Parsons, however, added a separate thought for Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, the Rockets’ primary free-agent target.“After watching that last night,” Parsons said, “I hit him with, ‘Come to Houston. That could be us.’ ”That wasn’t anything new for Howard. He has heard plenty from Parsons this offseason.“I talk to Dwight every day,” Parsons said. “I’ve created a relationship with him, where I feel like we’re very close. He hits me up about everything. I’ve covered pretty much every question he’s had. I basically tell him, ‘We have a chance to be really good without you next year. We’re going to have a good season. Why not come and join us, join our core guys who are for sure to be here and make us great, make us contend for a championship?’“That’s the main point I’ve gotten from talking to him. He wants to win. He wants to win rings. It’s obvious there is no better fit, no better team or opportunity to do that than with us.”

Is this tampering? According to Larry Coon’s definition, it sure sounds like it:

Tampering is when a player or team directly or indirectly entices, induces or persuades anybody (player, general manager, etc.) who is under contract with another team in order to negotiate for their services.

The most famous recent case of a player being accused of tampering is when Dwyane Wade said he planned to talk to LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson before free agency began in 2010. At the time, the NBA ruled that wasn’t tampering, as explained by NBA Vice President Tim Frank:

“We understand that players talk and interact with each other all the time and there’s no real way to regulate that,” he said. “We therefore reserve discipline only for the most egregious player tampering cases.”

Here’s how the Wade-LeBron-Bosh-Johnson meeting was described at the time by Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune:

The Cavaliers’ LeBron James, the Heat’s Dwyane Wade and the Hawks’ Joe Johnson plan to discuss their respective plans with each other before making a decision once free agency begins July 1, Wade told the Tribune on Wednesday.

Perhaps Wade used that meeting to pitch Miami to those other stars, but there’s no public evidence he did that. It sounds like it could have just been a meeting of the minds, a forum to discuss the complex factors they were weighing in their shared situation.

This Parsons case is different. He’s obviously stumping on behalf of a specific team.

Is it different enough to warrant a fine? I have no idea.

This all gets back to the point I’ve already repeated here many times: Tampering rules are vague and arbitrarily enforced. If the NBA wants to punish Parsons or the Rockets, it will. If the league doesn’t, it won’t.

Trying to identify a consistent standard is futile, because one doesn’t exist.

  1. spthegr8 - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    As Laker fan that wants D12 to stay in L. A. I am absolutely distraught to learn that Chandler Parsons is now recruiting Dwight. I mean Pat Riley’s got NOTHING on Chandler, right??? I will be SOOOOOOO glad when D12 signs that Max-Contract with the Lakers so the media can put this story to BED!!!! Just Saying!!!

    • soflasfinest - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      Dwight ain’t staying in LA…

  2. elcapitanfiscal - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    If kobe wasn’t shot a ballhog/a hole, LA might have had a much better chance of staying..

    Idk if he’s staying or not, but Kobe isn’t helping much.

    • dci744 - Jun 23, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      Right because injuries had nothing to with the Lakers performance this past season.

      • elcapitanfiscal - Jun 23, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        I didnt say it had nothing to do with that..im saying its a bigger deal if he doesnt want to play with,kobe, who also turned nash into a 2 guard by being a ballhog

    • stephenlin - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      kobe played as the lead guard this past season because steve could no longer consistently break down the opposing defense. as a result, kobe’s assist numbers were the highest they’ve been in his career. i get your dislike for him and all, but to reuse that old line without actually basing what you say on solid reasoning is just intellectually lazy.

  3. somekat - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    it’s different because….it’s not in the league’s advantage to have superteam in Houston.

    It wants it’s superteams firmly on the East Coast or in LA

  4. 13arod - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    It is tampering Houston should not be allowed to sign Dwight Howard because they are tampering and it is not fair for the other teams Miami should trade bosh so we could make a run for Howard

    • soflasfinest - Jun 23, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      No. No we shouldn’t. Dwight will bring drama and clog the lane. That’s a big 0-2

  5. remyje - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    OV-ER-RATE-ED ….. OV-ER-RAT-ED

  6. dylude - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Lol y’all are funny.
    Dwight already told Chandler that he’s more than 50/50 coming to the Rockets.
    Miami can offer him a mid level exception. No one is going to take on 0 points Bosh, send back no true contracts to enable Dwight to sign in Miami and it would still take a sign and trade to get him there that LA won’t do. Enjoy your championship Heat fan, be quiet about trading for Dwight.

    • HotHotHeat - Jun 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      As long as Mia has Lebron they don’t need Dwight. No need to trade bosh. Sign a true center and Mia will be in the Finals again next year.

  7. 00maltliquor - Jun 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Chill out Chandler, when the Rockets get Dwight, it’ll be for you and a couple others in the package sign and trade deal! lol! You’re wasting your time.

    • xLith - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      Why would a team with max contract cap space, sign and trade for a free agent?

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:06 AM

        So Dwight could get the full max. He’d be losing something like 30 million signing elsewhere. That’s why the sign and trade.

  8. onlyavoice - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Can’t Argue With Laker Fans.
    They Can’t See Kobe Hurts The Team With His “Me, Myself & I Ball Hogging” Attitude.
    Nash Was a Bad Signing. As Soon As It Was Announced I Knew The Lakers Would Falter.
    Then Came D’Antoni & That Put The Icing On The Cake, DONE. Done For Years.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      Done for years? If the Lakers got to 7 Finals appearances during Kobe’s career…then please, Kobe…continue to hurt us.

  9. onlyavoice - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    D’Antoni Took Almost All Of His Season With The Lakers To Figure Out How To Use Pau & Dwight.
    Kobe Was Actually Calling The Shots (Approves D’antoni Signing Then Turns Against Him) Even After He Got Hurt.
    The Hilarious Part Is The Lakers Fans Will Be Talking Championship Next Season.
    The Lakers Are DONE & I hope That Dwight Goes To Houston, The Clips Or The Heat.
    Jim Buss Is A Moron.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      I would hope playoffs…sure. and hey, when a team is expected to contend year in year out…it’s not far-fetched. check the history books, pal. the Lakers have been pretty good the past 30 years. no reason to think otherwise that it wouldn’t continue.

      Hilarity would be Pelicans/Kings/etc fans exclaiming championship remarks. now…that is funny. by the way, did you say the same in 2009 and 2010?

  10. losanginsight - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:07 AM

    With your help we can make the playoffs.

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