How are the Rockets looking heading into free agency with their current group?
The Rockets are heading into the offseason after finishing the season with a Game 7 defeat to the probable champion Warriors. As they head into the offseason looking to improve, they will also look to reunite with some of the team from this past year.
There are quite a few free agents from the team last season. I know that I find myself forgetting who all needs to be re-signed, so we are putting this post out there with all the details. Let’s separate the free agents into two categories: With or without Bird Rights.
Free Agents with Bird Rights
The three Rockets that have Bird Rights are three of the most important ones. The Rockets will really look to re-sign these guys this offseason. Thankfully, with Bird Rights, the team can sign them over the cap as long as they are signed last.
Chris Paul – Unrestricted Free Agent
There have already been rumors swirling that CP3 is looking for no less than a maximum contract this offseason. That will be tough to do for Houston, but they definitely will do what it takes to keep him. Maybe he will take a pay cut if the Rockets can for sure bring in another big name.
Clint Capela – Restricted Free Agent
This will be an interesting offseason for the Swiss big man. Capela is in a position to earn quite a bit of money this summer, hopefully with the Rockets. He will need to be patient as the team might want to wait and sign him last with his Bird Rights. We will see what the front office will do to bring the young center back.
Trevor Ariza – Unrestricted Free Agent
While he had a pretty bad last game of the season, to say the least, Ariza is a great locker room guy and had a productive fourth year of his contract in Rockets red. If he’s willing to take less money, the Rockets would welcome him back with open arms, I’m sure.
Free Agents without Bird Rights
There are a few non-Bird Rights free agents that the Rockets will likely try to bring back. If they will agree to smaller deals, this probably can be achieved.
Luc Mbah a Moute – Unrestricted Free Agent
Before getting injured, Mbah a Moute was one of the most versatile and underrated players on the Rockets. He was arguably the best perimeter defender on the team and shot the 3 pretty well. He wasn’t quite 100% healthy in the playoffs, unfortunately, and that cost the Rockets. Hopefully, he can come back with a similar contract and be completely healthy next season.
Gerald Green – Unrestricted Free Agent
The proudest Houstonian on the team, Gerald Green, is also a free agent. He likely won’t cost much and would bring some scoring off the bench for the Rockets. I definitely could see him coming back to the squad.
Tarik Black, Joe Johnson, Aaron Jackson – Unrestricted Free Agents
These three are all players that didn’t garner a ton of playing time last season. Black has already stated that he wants more playing time, likely elsewhere. Joe Johnson is open to re-signing with Houston and wants to keep playing. Jackson was used as extreme guard depth towards the end of the year and likely won’t be back. If they’ll agree to low amounts of money, maybe, just maybe, the Rockets will re-sign them. Don’t count on it, though.
Daryl Morey and Tilman Fertitta have made it clear that Houston wants back their free agents. I wonder who else will be joining them on the Rockets next year, we’ll have to wait and see.