The NBA didn't find Daryl Morey's innocent tweet about James Harden very innocent.
The league has fined the Philadelphia 76ers' president of basketball operations $50,000 for violating its anti-tampering rule.
The NBA cited Morey's since-deleted tweet from Dec. 20 in which he celebrated the one-year anniversary of James Harden breaking the Houston Rockets' all-time assists record.
Even if Morey had no ulterior motives, the context is impossible to ignore: His 76ers are considered a favorite to land Harden in a trade with Houston, where Morey worked as general manager before leaving for Philly in October.
The Celtics apparently are also in the Harden sweepstakes, as the All-Star guard reportedly added Boston to his list of preferred trade destinations last week.
The C's likely would have to part with Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart in a hefty trade package for Harden, who comes with red flags after also being fined $50,000 for violating the NBA's COVID-19 protocol.
Harden dropped 44 points Saturday in his season debut, though, reminding the league of his immense talent.
Boston still is a long shot to acquire Harden ahead of the NBA trade deadline, but the team won't complain about a rival GM being fined amid the Harden pursuit.