A couple weeks ago, The Rockets announced that they will not take up the options on any of the 2009 draftees including Hasheem Thabeet, Jordan Hill, Jonny Flynn, and Terrence Williams. This spurted a flutter of people asking questions about the upcoming free agency like, "Will Dwight Howard come here?" "Will Deron Williams come here?" you get where this is going right? Whether this is the plan Morey and his team were planning to use for the future of The Rockets is not to be questioned in this post but, we can take a closer look at what our Financial Future looks like for the upcoming Free Agency bonanza extravaganza.
Let's dive in! At the moment, The Rockets salary due next year if options are accepted is 58.5M which will become 37.2M due to the fact that no player options have been accepted. 6.5M coming from Thabeet, 4.3M coming from Jonny Flynn, 3.6M coming from Jordan Hill, 3.1M coming from Terrence Williams, 900K coming from Budinger. Note: I'm not sure if Bud's option was accepted or not, it should be though and finally the cutting of Jeff Adrien taking off 850K. Add all those numbers up, and add them to 37.2M it equals around 56.4M right? Where is the other 2.1M that just seemingly disappeared? Dragic will be becoming a Free Agent this coming summer, and his 2.1M will come off the books.
Now that our salary is shed down from 58.5M to 37.2M, the NBA salary cap this year is listed as 58M and as we all know it varies from year to year based on NBA Team's Revenues. Nonetheless, it should be around 58M if not a little bit less giving The Rockets 20.8M to use in Free Agency.This leads up to 2 questions on a plan of action.
1) Do we pick up Samuel Dalembert's 2nd year option?
2) Do we re sign Courtney Lee?
Dalembert's contract states that 1.5M of his contract is guaranteed in the 2nd year, and the other 5.2M dollars owed him will become guaranteed if he isn't cut before July 8th, 2012. So, if we cut him and don't pick up his "option" for the 2nd year we will take 5.2M off the salary cap giving us 26M to spend instead of 20.8M. I really like Dalembert and I think he has a very fair contract, but you never know.
In Courtney Lee's case, there is an option for a Qualifying Offer starting at 3.2M which I don't see why we wouldn't extend to him because best case he takes that offer, even when he should be getting bigger and better offers from other teams. Now, that's a pipe dream, and since he is a RFA, he will hear out all the offers that are on the table, and say he signs something along the lines of 6.5M, that's a fair assumption right? Say we don't match the offer he accepts and he walks, that adds 3.2M in spending money. Giving us a total of 29.2M so far to spend.
Now that we're done gutting our roster, let's look at how everything looks overall
Cap Space: 29.2M
PG - Lowry(5.75M), FA, FA/Llul
SG - Kevin Martin(12.4M), Courtney Lee(Estimated 6.5M used of Cap)
SF - Parsons (900K), Morris(1.9M), FA/Bud (900K used of Cap)
PF - Luis Scola (9.4M), Patterson (2.1M), FA
C - FA, Dalembert (5.2M used of cap), Monty(1M due if he comes over)
It's not awful, I wish it was better though, but you can xix and match the above however you want to, add in an amnesty even if you want, Luis Scola is looking like the best option for it in regards to the players on our roster because his contract appreciates in value per year.
Well, if you just happened to make it this far, as you can see, we have a lot of money to spend on players, what players we should be going after, I'm not going to say, but please discuss down in the comments section. Is gutting our team worth it? Will we get Superstar X? What bad contract will we give to a player? Ect. Ect. Thanks for reading!