The NBA has slapped the L.A. Clippers with a $250,000 fine for underhandedly trying to recruit DeAndre Jordan back to the team ... but the league claims the shady activity went down BEFORE the famous house lockdown.
According to the NBA, the Clippers violated league rules during a presentation to Jordan on July 2nd -- in which the team tried to entice DJ into resigning by dangling a potential 3rd party endorsement guarantee in addition to his NBA contract.
It's unclear exactly which company the endorsement would have been with -- but the fact it was included in the presentation at all is a big no-no under league rules.
In the end, the NBA ruled that the move had NO BEARING on Jordan's ultimate decision to resign with the Clips ... which probably had more to do with Blake Griffin, Doc Rivers and others racing to his Houston home, locking the doors, and giving him the hard sell.
Still, this has to make Mark Cuban a little happy.