The Houston Rockets plan on releasing swingman Troy Williams in order to make room for Joe Johnson according to Shams Charania.
Sources: The Rockets plan to release guard Troy Williams to create roster space for Joe Johnson signing. Williams is expected to receive interest as free agent.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 13, 2018
Williams showed a little promise last season as a guy who could score, as he averaged 9.7 points per game on 50 percent shooting in six games and three starts, and it was expected he’d have the chance to crack the back end of the rotation, especially with how many injuries the Rockets have suffered through this season.
But Williams never did get much of an opportunity on the year, moving back and forth between the G-League and only playing in four games. He averaged 4 minutes per contest in those appearances, scoring just a little over a point per game. With Johnson coming aboard for a playoff run, Williams clearly became expandable.
Williams is guaranteed $614,000 for the year, and the Rockets have several options for dealing with that money.
Troy Williams is guaranteed about $614k for 2017-18. IF he is not claimed off waivers, the #Rockets will have the option to count that money against team salary (for cap/tax purposes) either (1) all in 2017-18 or (2) about $205k in each of the next three seasons.— David Weiner (@BimaThug) February 13, 2018
Also according to Weiner, the Rockets could have to pay luxury tax on that cash next season because it would be considered dead money and they are likely to go over the tax threshold. The exact amount will depend on how much the Rockets go over, but they’re clearly willing to spend the extra cash in order to bring Johnson in the fold and to have a shot at a title.
If the Rockets can come out of this with a ring, any additional cheddar they’d need to pay would clearly be worth it.
Adieu, Troy Williams. Fare thee well.
Update: The Rockets are no longer releasing Troy Williams, according to Shams Charania. Joe Johnson’s signing and the release decision will come at a later time.