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Tampertantrum! Rockets Free Agency 2023

Free agents? More like Flee Agents.

Chicago Bulls v Toronto Raptors
Hi, I’m Fred. You’re going to spend it somewhere, why not me?
Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/Getty Images

NBA free agency is set to begin at 6PM EST on June 30th, 2023. We are hearing all sorts of rumors of deals, non deals, and other events now. There is absolutely no tampering going on. Complex deals well into nine figures are typically done in a matter of minutes all over the world, and the NBA is no exception.

With that in mind let’s peruse a list of potential free agents reportedly, or at least repeatedly, linked to the Rockets. We’ll look at their current (rumored) status, in terms of money, years, and likelihood and my personal thoughts on whether the player is a good fit.

James Harden

Current Free Agency Rumor (No Tampering) Status: Likely to re-sign with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Preferred Destination: Houston Strip Clubs

Money: Well north of $36 million per year. That’s a lot of honey buns.

Years: Lots (3+)

Age: 33

Rumor Color Level: Viridian

Comment: Did anyone really think Morey and Harden were going to break up?

Brook Lopez

Current Free Agency Rumor (No Tampering) Status: Leaning Bucksward

Preferred Destination: Seattle Supersonics

Money: $20million/yr.

Years: 2 guaranteed, plus partial third year.

Age: 35

Rumor Color Level: Chartreuse

Comment: Current Mark Stein rumor has Lopez “leaning” towards re-signing with the Bucks. Lopez himself preferred the Seattle Supersonics, or Montreal Expos in a recent interview.

Dillon (not Dylan) Brooks

Current Free Agency Rumor (No Tampering) Status: Linked to Houston Rockets, and absolutely not to the Memphis Grizzlies. Yes, Brooks was too annoying and obnoxious to be a Grizzly. Let that sink in.

Preferred Destination: Vestbjerg, Denmark

Money: $15/year

Years: 2 + Team Option, Maybe 1+1 team option if you could manage that.

Age: Only 27. Seems longer.

Rumor Color Level: Glistening Oiled Shirtless Vest Skin Color

Comment: I really don’t want this guy on the Rockets. Actual, real, chucker.

Fred VanVleet

Current Free Agency Rumor (No Tampering) Status: Fred Grange of Sportsnet (Canadian ESPN): “Everyone outside the Raptors thinks Van Vleet is leaving Toronto.”

Preferred Destination: Flavortown

Money: 3 years. $120 million, but third year only lightly guaranteed

Years: 2 + Team Option

Age: 29

Rumor Color Level: Vleeten

Comment: With a two year deal, partially guaranteed for the third season, that’s fine. The Rockets can outbid pretty much everyone for FVV. The idea is to pay more money for fewer years, so that VanVleet is off the cap sheet when it is time to extend Rockets draft picks.

As a shorter, though stout, guard, VanVleet isn’t likely to age particularly well. A shorter deal is almost required. A long Van Vleet deal is likely a future example of “The Winner’s Curse”.


The Los Angeles Clippers will not pick up Eric Gordon’s contract for 23-24.

Eric Gordon

Current Free Agency Rumor (No Tampering) Status: The Clippers have chosen to save around $120 million in luxury tax payments and are not guaranteeing Eric Gordon’s approximately $21 million contract.

Preferred Destination: Fishing

Money: 1+1 $23 million

Years: 1 + Team Option

Age: 34

Rumor Color Level: Screamface

Comment: Eric Gordon is one of the better SG options on the market, and as we know, the Rockets love Eric Gordon. Who doesn’t want to see a reprise of last year’s team?

Ok, fine. I’m joking, but I wish Eric the best.

There are other FAs, Kyrie Irving, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Khris Middleton, Jerami Grant. None seem likely to sign with the Rockets. As for restricted free agents, it’s usually a fools errand, unless you can (now no longer allowed) poison pill the current team.

The Rockets will not be trading for Damien Lillard.


Most Likely Rockets Free Agent Signing?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Dillon Brooks
    (144 votes)
  • 2%
    James Harden
    (17 votes)
  • 10%
    Brook Lopez
    (70 votes)
  • 56%
    Fred Van Vleet
    (385 votes)
  • 1%
    Kyrie Irving
    (12 votes)
  • 8%
    Bruno Fernando
    (57 votes)
685 votes total Vote Now