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The SportsXchange

The Atlanta Hawks could be in some hot water for referring to Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard in a recent ticket promotion.

The Hawks may have violated the NBA's tampering policy by mentioning players who are under contract with another team. Atlanta reportedly is interested in pursuing Howard and Paul when they become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Hawks sent a sales letter to potential ticket buyers that named Paul and Howard. Hawks president Bob Williams acknowledged the mistake by a team ticket representative and called it unfortunate, He said the letter "does not represent how our basketball operations or our business staff have cosistently comunicated about free agency."

The letter stated: "The buzz around our offseason is more than heating up. With massive cap space, 4 draft picks, and free agency rapidly approaching, we sit in the best position in the NBA. Player interest is skyrocketing as the possibilities of landing Chris Paul & Dwight Howard become more and more of a reality. This is your opportunity to get on board before its (sic) too late. Once we solidify our signings there will be no seats left."

The collective bargaining agreement stipulates that teams refuse comment on players before the free-agency period begins.

Paul completed his second season with the Clippers and Howard, and Atlanta native, finished his first year with the Lakers. Both have expressed a willingness to listen to offers from other teams.
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