While the Dwight drama drags us back into high school-I heard that Dwight told a friend who told his friend who told his friend who told my friend that he really likes us! OMG!!!-let's talk in general terms about the other big Free Agents.
If the Rockets can't sign Dwight many of us believe the Rockets should sign a different name FA instead,whether it's Josh Smith,Al Jefferson,Millsap.Iggy or whoever. Others believe-okay,maybe just me-that Morey would sit on his Cap space and save it for 2014 or another opportunistic trade.
While talking w/a Laker fan about Dwight,moves the Lakers could make,etc,it dawned on me...why would any top FA wait around until Dwight makes up his mind? The Rockets aren't the only team w/gobs of Cap space in 2014. By my count 14-FOURTEEN-teams could have $10mil or more in Cap Space w/a $60mil Cap(more on this later). Now three of the teams are chasing Dwight and some could use up theirs re-signing their own FAs. But the others?
If 12:01 July 1 Philly calls Josh Smith and offers his $12mil,Cleveland calls Jefferson and offers him $12.5mil do we really believe they're going to say "Thanks for the offer,but I'm going to wait until I see if Houston makes an offer"? The Bonzi Wells school of negotiating rarely works.
I mean,what are the chances Dwight makes up his mind before FA even starts? This is his one big shot at being wooed,he missed out on College recruiting,and after the past couple of seasons who could blame him for going on a everybody-tells-me-how-great-I-am-and-how-much-they-want-me tour. Even if he eliminates one of the teams supposedly in the chase,that's still a couple of trips to talk to FO and coaches. Even tho LeBron knew all along where he was going it took him 8 days to reveal his choice.
It's very probable that by the time Dwight makes up his mind the other top FAs will have been signed. So the Rockets won't be in a if not Dwight then (Fill in the blank FA) situation,it's Dwight or no big names. EXCEPT...
Remember I said we'd get back to the Salary Cap? Here's where it gets interesting.
Last yr's Cap was $58.4mil and it's expected to rise to @ $60mil. As an aid in transitioning to the new CBA a couple of things were frozen for two yrs-the Salary Cap for one. Now it just so happens the Lakers signed a HUGE new TV deal that went into effect this past season. It should have affected last Season's Cap,but it didn't. It will affect this yr's Cap.
The Lakers supposedly made @ $30mil/yr on their old TV deal. The new one could reach $200mil/yr if incentives are met according to the Late Dr Buss.(Likely viewership and esp a Finals run,where more Play-Off games means more viewers,esp for cheap to produce pre and post game shows.) A $150mil/yr figure was widely announced but TW denied it. My guess is the Lakers get less than $150mil in guaranteed revenue,but have bonuses that can bump it up to $200mil.
Whatever the actual figure,it's going to be a significant increase,perhaps $70-100mil more than their current deal. And it counts towards BRI which helps determine the Salary Cap. Boston signed a new deal a couple of yrs ago that could add @ $800,000 to the Salary Cap.
It's very possible the Salary Cap will go up not $1.5mil or so,but between $3-5mil. And I wouldn't be surprised if teams aren't aware of the higher Cap by now. A $3mil bump in the Cap could mean a lot to teams chasing top FAs,giving them more room to maneuver.
For the Rockets much of the increase will be eaten up by Harden as he gets 25% of the Cap,or some $15mil.
Trading Robinson for no salary back and waiving Delfino would be all it took to get $20.5mil under a $62mil Cap. The Rockets could thus wait on deciding what to do w/Asik,either keeping him,trading him for player(s) or trade him for no salary coming back and a future first,thus opening up $8.4mil in Cap room to sign someone else-or use the TPE instead.