If the NBA is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, then during free agency, it goes one step further.

As in: How can I make life a little more miserable for the competition.

The Dallas Mavericks are trying to do just that to the Houston Rockets, and it might qualify as a pretty decent chunk of payback.

The Mavericks are taking dead aim at restricted free-agent small forward Chandler Parsons, whose stock has risen to the point that he takes a back seat to no free agents after LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

If the Mavericks sign Parsons to an offer sheet that starts in the $10 million to $12 million range, then the Rockets will have three days to match it.

The problem is if the Rockets are able to sign Chris Bosh to a maximum contract, as they have offered the Miami Heat big man, that would give them three players making in excess of $14 million per season. Add Parson’s $12 million, and the Rockets would quickly be creeping into the luxury tax by the time they filled out their team.

This could be called the Dwight Howard rule.