The NBA fined the Rockets $25,000 after owner Tilman Fertitta made comments about Russell Westbrook before the deal sending the 2017 MVP to Houston is completed, according to The New York Times' Marc Stein.
The blockbuster trade is still unofficial. The Rockets will reportedly receive Westbrook while trading away Chris Paul and a selection of future draft assets to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After news of the reported agreement broke last week, Fertitta delivered a short message to local media.
"We're excited to have Russell Westbrook. I would watch him play for Oklahoma City and he's so athletic," Fertitta wrote in a statement Fox 26 sports director Mark Berman obtained. "At the same time this franchise just had the two years with the most wins its ever had in consecutive years and we wouldn't have accomplished that without Chris Paul. Chris Paul is unbelievable and he's gonna be sadly missed."
Though the fine is a slap on the wrist for a multibillionaire, the NBA has used such punitive measures to remind its owners of the need to respect the official order of operations.
Earlier on Monday, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was reportedly docked $50,000 for leaking information about potential rule changes during the league's annual closed-door Board of Governors meeting.