The Rockets will be one of the first teams to meet with their top free agent target, LaMarcus Aldridge, after free agency opens at midnight tonight.
Offseason champ Daryl Morey himself said the Rockets getting their bigger ticket items is unlikely — and the latest reports still list the Spurs, Lakers and Mavericks as more realistic candidates to sign him — but they will meet all the same.
The maximum salary for Aldridge, which he will certainly get, is four years at $18.8 million per year. If the Rockets were to accomplish freeing that much cap space, they would have to trade Trevor Ariza, renounce their cap holds on Josh Smith and Jason Terry, cut Kostas Papanikolaou and Pablo Prigioni and try to make sure Ariza's trade brings back enough dead money to squeeze Aldridge under the cap.
As Morey said, it's unlikely, and my prediction for the Rockets remains the same group plus Sergio Llull, but you just never know what Morey can pull off with his magic phone/calculator.