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Rockets news: Tilman Fertitta speaks out on NBA’s ruling on Nene’s contract

Rockets, Nene, Tilman Fertitta

The Houston Rockets were once again at the forefront of news regarding trailblazing moves after crafting an innovative contract for center Nene Hilario. However, the NBA has punished them for their creativity.

Both the league and the NBA Players Association (NBPA) had a curious case on their hands when the Rockets crafted the deal. Nene is only guaranteed $2.6 million with Houston, but he would receive up to $7.4 million in likely bonuses at certain points in the season.

However, the league interpreted the contract as a deal that violates the spirit of the rules. With that said, the league won’t allow the contract to be used as a possible $10 million trade chip — only crediting the base salary.

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta came forward and talked about the deal ending up the way it did. Surprisingly, the outspoken owner was understanding of the league and the NBPA’s decision to penalize the contract.

“My basketball operation guys are very good,” Fertitta said. “They found a contract they thought in the past was a template. The NBA did not allow it. I respect the NBA decision. We didn’t fight them on it. We just move on.”

The Rockets tried to include the large bonuses as part of Nene’s salary if he was ever to be traded from the team. Given that this is the first time they handled such a situation, it’s understandable the league denied the deal.

However, it’s not weird to expect more of these types of deals to appear moving forward. After all, teams are always looking to curb the salary cap and build the best team they can.