After losing to the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs once again, the owner of the Rockets gave GM Daryl Morey the okay to go into the luxury tax to build a better roster.
The team also added Carmelo Anthony, James Ennis and Michael Carter-Williams in free agency, but none of those players lasted the entire season with Houston. The Rockets cut Melo after just 10 games, traded MCW and cash to Chicago on Jan. 7 for a 2nd round pick and traded Ennis and a 2nd rounder to Philadelphia on Feb. 7 in exchange for another 2nd round pick.
Once Houston got healthy, they were the hottest team in the league heading into the postseason, winning 20 of their last 25 games after the All-Star break. Houston defeated the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs in just five games, but they lost to the Golden State Warriors for the fourth time in the last five years.
Not only did Houston lose to the Warriors, but they were defeated in just six games, even with Kevin Durant missing the fourth quarter in Game 5 and the entirety of Game 6. After taking a 3-2 lead over the Warriors in the 2018 Western Conference Finals and ultimately losing the series in seven games, this postseason was considered a big disappointment for the Rockets organization.
Fortunately, the bitter taste of another defeat at the hands of Golden State has shown the Rockets that they have to get better, and the franchise’s ownership is ready to spend the money. According to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has given Daryl Morey the nod to go over the luxury tax threshold to make the team better.
It’s a good thing that Fertitta is willing to pay up for a better team, because with James Harden and Chris Paul in line to eat up $76 million of Houston’s $109 million salary cap, the Rockets won’t have a ton of room to make moves.
Hopefully, the Rockets can use their resources and the opportunity to contend for a title to attract the necessary talent that can help them win a chip in 2020.