The Houston Rockets were one of the NBA’s biggest surprises during the 2016-17 season. They blew past all expectations and finished third in the Western Conference with a 55-27 record. James Harden wound up being an MVP candidate and Mike D'Antoni’s system fit the team’s players perfect. Now, reports claim the Rockets are ready to change everything.
Marc Stein is reporting the Rockets have put virtually everyone on the roster other than Harden on the trade block. The decision is apparently aimed at creating cap space to make some moves this summer.
This story broke as it was announced Houston had signed general manager Daryl Morey to a four-year extension.
Meanwhile Stein dropped some more knowledge concerning who the Rockets plan to target in free agency:
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap and Kyle Lowry is certainly an ambitious slate of guys to target. That said, Houston is going to have a difficult time unloading enough salary to land a big name. Ryan Anderson would have to go, and he has three years and $61.265 million left on his contract. While he’s been a nice piece in Houston, he’s been injury-prone throughout his career and is getting paid far too much.
Patrick Beverley will make just $5.5 million next season with a $5 million team option for 2018-19, and Lou Williams will make just $7 million next season. Both guys should be much easier to move, but that won’t open up enough cap room to make the kind of huge moves Houston is projecting.
Anderson is really the big obstacle here. He averaged 13.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 29.4 minutes per game last year, while turning in a dismal PER of 13.5. That’s not a guy anyone is going to waste an average of $20 million a year on.