HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta was fined $25,000 by the NBA for commenting on the Russell Westbrook trade before the deal was official.
Fertitta made comments to a TV station after the Rockets agreed to send Chris Paul and two future first-round picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for the All-Star point guard.
"We're excited to have Russell Westbrook," Fertitta told the TV station. "I would watch him play for Oklahoma City, and he's so athletic. At the same time, this franchise just had the two years with the most wins it's 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."
Westbrook, 30, has spent his entire 11-year career in Oklahoma City, but the franchise seems primed for a rebuilding period after receiving a record haul of five future first-round picks and All-Rookie point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in a separate deal to ship Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Thunder also received forward Danilo Gallinari in the trade, but the veteran versatile scoring threat could be rerouted to another team.
Westbrook averaged 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.9 assists last season, marking the third consecutive campaign he averaged a triple-double.
The trade reunited Westbrook with James Harden, his former Thunder teammate and fellow recent MVP.