The Negatives to the Houston Rockets being sellers
With the coming free agent class of 2021 expected to be relatively weak compared to years past, the Rockets having cap space this summer isn’t as valuable as one might expect. On top of that, teams had been stockpiling cap space to make a run at Giannis Antetokounmpo but he signed his extension with the Milwaukee Bucks already.
This would leave the Rockets with heavy competition against other teams to overpay for free agents or end up empty-handed. Having cap space would give the Rockets flexibility in the future but would most likely result in a bloated, hard-to-trade contract that would be unlikely to work out (i.e. Ryan Anderson).
This team is also a very tight-knit group that has built a lot of chemistry not only amongst the players, but also with first time head coach Stephen Silas and the rest of his coaching staff. With players like John Wall coming out and talking about how much Tucker means to the team, it would seem that trading away Tucker would fracture the chemistry that the team has built.
Tanking away this season also has little merit, with the Rockets having to trade away their first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder unless it is a top-four pick. With the NBA’s current lottery rules, tanking away doesn’t hold the same value for a top pick that it did in years past.
The Rockets could end up as a bottom team by tanking and still end up without a top-four pick. That would not only ruin what the team has built since the Harden trade, but also mean that the tanking was for nothing.
Next: The argument for buying