After finishing last in the Western Conference for three consecutive years, the Houston Rockets figure to make wholesale changes. Such is typically the case when a team wins just 25 percent of their games over a three-year span.
And especially for this Rockets group, which hopes to take a leap and become formidable contenders in 2023-24. The Rockets will be armed with cap space for the first time in a century, as they'll have $61 million to their name. (Okay, century was a bit extreme, but you get the point).
The Rockets already got the ball rolling on that front when they made the decision to end the tenure of coach Stephen Silas, who had a fourth-year option that was declined.
And the Rockets have a bevy of draft capital to shell out, as a means of improving the roster, thanks in large part to the James Harden trade. And speaking of the draft, the Rockets' 2024 pick heads back to Oklahoma City because of the Russell Westbrook trade, so the pressure is on to contend, as they certainly don't want to give a lottery pick to a conference foe (yes, I know the pick is top-4 protected).
Part of those changes will be determining who does and doesn't belong on the roster in 2023-24, whether it be because of poor performance or they are better served as trade bait. Here is a glimpse of five players that could get the short end of the stick and find themselves on a different team in 2023-24.