In order for the Rockets to continue to compete for a championship, they may have to go over the luxury tax threshold, and Tilman Fertitta is okay with that.
This current Rockets roster is one of the deepest teams in franchise history. At 44-13, Houston has the best record in the NBA and the best record in franchise history through 57 games.
Obviously, this team is loaded with talent. James Harden and Chris Paul take turns running the offense, which gives Houston the luxury of having a Hall of Fame guard on the floor at all times. Meanwhile, Clint Capela has emerged as one of the best young centers in the league and has turned into a walking double-double.
Luc Mbah a Moute and PJ Tucker have played large roles in bridging the gap between an average defensive team last year to a top 10 defense this year. Lastly, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza have largely contributed to Houston’s floor spacing and high-octane offense.
Tilman Fertitta will pay to compete for a championship
In order to keep all of this talent together heading into next season and beyond, the Rockets may have to shell out some serious money. Fortunately, Tilman Fertitta is willing to spend the extra dough to bring a championship to Houston, via USA Today’s Sam Amick.
“The NBA is a tough business, No. 1,” Fertitta begins. “And you can go from making money to losing money very quickly. Everybody has to remember, I did pay $2.2 billion for this team. I didn’t pay $80 million for it, okay? And I’m not worth $20 billion (his reported wealth is $4.3 billion), but I have no problem paying luxury tax if I truly think that it truly gives me the chance to win the championship next year, okay? But believe it or not, we’re not in the luxury tax today and we truly have a chance to win the championship this year.”
It will be expensive for Houston to re-sign Chris Paul and retain Clint Capela who will be a restricted free agent. The Rockets are currently just $1.5 million below the luxury tax threshold, so the extra bill looks inevitable at this point.
Also, the Rockets are likely to pursue LeBron James this summer. Houston doesn’t have a lot of cap space, so Daryl Morey will have to get very creative in order to sign the King. Although, LeBron could follow Paul’s strategy and opt into the last year of his deal and force a trade from Cleveland.
Either way, for the Rockets to build a championship contender, they’ll have to spend some big money. It’s a good thing that Fertitta is willing to do anything for a ring and has pockets deep enough to pay the price.