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Houston Rockets’ Free Agency: 3 players still available that they should pursue

By Andy Yanez
James Harden #13 Houston Rockets (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
James Harden #13 Houston Rockets (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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NBA Free Agency is in full swing as most of the top players have committed to new teams, but there are still quality veterans that the Houston Rockets should pursue.

On Sunday afternoon the mayhem began. There were “Woj Bombs” left and right, and marquee free agents like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and unfortunately for the Houston Rockets, Jimmy Butler all found new homes.

While the league waits on the decision of Kawhi Leonard, the high-quality role player free agents begin to commit to new teams as well. As the league saw in the NBA Finals, the pieces surrounded around the stars are just as important as the stars themselves.

So far for the Rockets, they have been relatively quiet since missing out on their biggest target, Jimmy Butler, but they have brought back the majority of their playoff rotation players from last season.

Danuel House Jr. agreed on a new three-year, $11 million contract. Gerald Green agreed to return to the team on a veteran minimum deal, and Austin Rivers committed to a two-year deal to return to the Rockets which is also worth the veteran minimum and has a player option on the second year of the deal.

With the key rotation players in the playoffs under contract for the 2019-20 season, the Rockets are still left with a couple of paths to add a few more pieces to their squad.

If the Rockets choose to spend the entire Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception ($5.734 million) they would also have their Bi-Annual Exception ($3.623 million) to pursue free agents, but would be close to the hard-cap and would have to renounce the rights to Iman Shumpert.

If the Rockets choose to only spend the Taxpayer-Mid Level Exception ($2.174 million) they can bring back Shumpert, use his Bird Rights to sign him to a larger contract than the M.L.E. they have available, and could later use Shumpert’s contract in a trade deal down the road, or keep him if they desire.

Regardless of the path they choose, the Rockets still have some money left to spend, and here are three free agents still available that they should pursue:

Next: No. 3