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Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta seems to tamper with Timberwolves wing Jimmy Butler

2016 NBCUniversal Summer Press Day

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 01: Businessman/TV personality Tilman J. Fertitta attends the 2016 NBCUniversal Summer Press Day at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village on April 1, 2016 in Westlake Village, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

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The Rockets are trying to trade for Jimmy Butler.

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, via Steven Godfrey of SB Nation:

“We would love to see Jimmy come home to Houston. It’s not a financial decision, it’s an assets decision on our part. We’ve got a great basketball team. We think we’re as good as anybody in the league. We’re not going to give up unreasonable assets, to break up this team, to get Jimmy Butler. But we would love to have him.”

Butler’s future in Minnesota remains uncertain, but he’s still on the Timberwolves. So is this tampering?

The NBA’s tampering rules are vague and arbitrarily enforced. Textbook cases happen without the league mentioning it. Benign incidents draw fines.

But this really seems like tampering.