Houston Rockets: Which free agents should be retained?

John Wall #1 Houston Rockets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images )
John Wall #1 Houston Rockets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images ) /
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Houston Rockets
Avery Bradley #9 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets: Should Avery Bradley be retained?

Avery Bradley is not an impending free agent but he does have a team option for next season at $5.9 million. Whether or not the Rockets should exercise it or not likely depends on their draft and free agency plans.

Bradley is a solid player at this point in his career but he’s hardly a difference-maker. His profile fits best on a contender where he averages between 15 and 20 minutes a game, hits open threes, and tries his best to slow down one of the opposition’s better perimeter players.

Could the Rockets use a player like that? Absolutely, every team could but not at the expense of reps for a young player finding their way. If John Wall and Eric Gordon are still in Houston, along with Kevin Porter Jr. and a potential lottery pick then Bradley’s presence goes from a plus to nuisance.

It isn’t good business to keep a veteran around to not play them, even if they’re making under $6 million. The Rockets should do right by Bradley and let him explore his options, as I’m sure a whole host of contenders would love to bring him in for the league minimum or through a mid-level exception.

However, there is a world where the Rockets pick up his option and look to trade him. The market for a player of Bradley’s quality is not robust and with how maxed out most contenders are asset and cap-wise the teams that want him won’t have much to offer.

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The Rockets should let Bradley go, keep the $5.9 million and see if they can’t use their cap space to find better long-term fits in free agency. Being better in 2021-22 isn’t the goal for the Rockets, it’s all about being as good as possible in 2025 and Bradley doesn’t help much there.

The verdict: decline his option