Houston Rockets benefit from Lakers blunder ahead of free agency

By Anthony Duckett
Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey is interviewed as the Rockets announce D'Antoni as their new head coach (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey is interviewed as the Rockets announce D'Antoni as their new head coach (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Can the Houston Rockets benefit next season from the Lakers’ accounting mistake involving the Anthony Davis?

With the Golden State Warriors facing uncertainty, the Western Conference is up for grabs. Teams, including the Houston Rockets, are trying to load up their rosters to prepare for a championship run. Exhibit A is the Los Angeles Lakers who added LeBron James just a season ago, and were certainly looking to bolster their roster in the off-season.

The Lakers did what was certainly a foregone conclusion and agreed to a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire Anthony Davis. However, the manner in which they executed the trade has the potential to benefit the Houston Rockets just ahead of the NBA free agency, which is set to commence on June 30th.

This is because they agreed to finalize the Davis trade on July 6th, leaving them with just $23.7 million in cap space as opposed to the $32.5 million they would have had by negotiating to finalize the trade on July 30th.

This is all contingent on Davis opting to accept his 4 million dollar trade kicker, which it is widely believed he will do, according to NBC Sports.

This all but surely takes them out of the running to add an additional max player, and opens the door for the Rockets to possibly add an additional star. There will still be challenges and complications for the Rockets to acquire Butler, however this takes the Lakers out of the running for the 4-time All-Star.

In addition, this means the Lakers will not be able to add Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard, or Kyrie Irving. It’s not as if the Rockets will be likely to land any of those pieces either, due to the salary cap challenges the Rockets already face, but the Rockets have a legitimate opportunity to “run it back” with the same roster, which already has chemistry.

The Lakers will be one of the favorites to win the title after getting Davis, but they likely will need time to figure out how to play together, and their ability to add additional pieces just got significantly compromised due to their lack of understanding of the CBA rules.

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Hopefully the Rockets can capitalize and add the necessary ingredients to bring an additional NBA title to Houston.

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