1. Better options exist in the NBA
Perhaps the biggest reason why the Rockets should look the other way on Llull is because there are simply better options on the free agent market. Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson, and J.R. Smith are three names that instantly come to mind, as each of these players are good 3-point shooters and have yet to be picked up.
Granted, the Rockets aren’t imminently trying to sign Llull but the fact remains there are always going to be better options than Llull. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is one of the best at identifying talent, and he’s even better at getting those players at a relatively low cost. The Rockets have gotten stellar play from Jeff Green and Ben McLemore, who were both picked up off the scrap heaps this season.
Llull is an aging player so time is certainly not on his side. The longer it takes for Llull to join the Rockets, the less he’ll be able to contribute, as it’s already been 11 years since the Rockets first started having conversations with him. Certainly the Rockets didn’t anticipate having to convince a 32-year-old guard to join them when they first acquired him in 2009.
On top of that, as previously mentioned, the Rockets would have to pay $12 million to buy Llull out of his contract even if he does reverse course on his NBA interest. The Rockets could simply sign next year’s version of McLemore or Green for a relatively low cost and possibly even a non-guaranteed contract. If they went this route, they would be getting a player who has already shown he belongs in the NBA, which is more than Llull can say.