If Daryl Morey endeavored to change the subject or give himself a high bar to clear, he did not reduce the expectations of a free agency.
The rockets are well above the payroll and leave them only the middle class exception of about $ 5.7 million to offer. But Morey said the goal is to somehow get away with a third star. If he failed, he said he hoped to spend the money on the middle level on a significant addition that would probably come down to the Rockets price.
Sharing the hope of landing a third star could have been a way of spreading words that Rocketsne is still considering Chris Paul to be another star. Morey strongly refused that Paul requested to be acted and similarly rejected a notion that the rockets were seeking to clear their extended pay from the books.
However, the rockets plan to start buying free trades that are trying to pull a coup like landing Paul two years earlier, this time with an expected pursuit of 76ers forward-looking Jimmy Butler and in the exemption agency rather than in an opt-in trade like Paul engineered.
Butler could choose the last season of his contract worth $ 1
Sixers will be determined to keep him and want bird rights to offer that kind of contract that would be difficult for the Rockets to match. But Butler, like Paul in 2017, would like to play with James Harden. He and the Harden are extremely close, and Butler is expected to at least consider the franchise that Tomball native considers his home town team.
In the absence of the third-star plan, Morey has said that he will use his mid-level exception to land a start-caliber player, rather to spread it around to multiple players to fill out his diminished bench.
With that in mind, he was supposed to go into a free agency with a much larger pool of opportunities, hoping that someone would probably expect more than the middle level to sign what the rockets have to offer.
Some of the developments up to July could help with so many free agencies responding to the chain reaction.
Harrison Barnes chooses not to have a $ 25.1 million contract next season, does not seem to affect the Rockets unless he gives up $ 25.1 million in the hope of earning $ 5.7 million. But each free agent who joins the 2019 higher-priced class, with Khris Middleton expecting to join the plethora of cost-free agent wings, increases the chances that someone expects more opportunities to play for mid-level – The exception Rockets and other challengers have to offer.
There is a long list of players that could fit this scenario, although most are likely to be priced out of the Rockets mid-range.
A look at some of the players in pool of potential rockets "middle level targets:
Reggie Bullock, Lakers forward
Bullock is very much the kind that could be priced out of Rockets & # 39; range but will probably be on the move and have the skills of a catch-and-shoot threat that fits well with the Rockets. He is a 39.2 percent 3-point career shooter with defensive capability.
DeMarre Carroll, Nets, Forward
Briefly, a member of the Rockets, Carroll would bring the toughness to the wing that would appeal to the Rockets and would offer another little ball of power forward.
Wesley Matthews, Pacers, Guard
Matthews is a fierce defensive player and a great shooter that Rockets hoped to land during the in-season free agent market, choosing Pacers to get more play time than likely with the Rockets at better sit for free cages au. That would indicate that he is not likely to come at a price.
Wayne Ellington, Pistons, guard
Recording gets expensive and Ellington has made 37.9 percent of his 3 & 39's in his career while setting them up on a Rockets similar rate (at least 6.2 per game, usually from the bench) in the last five seasons. After 10 NBA seasons, he could be particularly reluctant to choose a competitor for a discount compared to richer deals.
Kentavious Caldwell Pope, Lakers, guard
Rockets were interested in Caldwell-Pope early in the season and could find him available during the Lakers & # 39; house cleaning. He has, on average, measured in double figures in each of the last five seasons since his rookie year with the stamps. He made 34.7 percent of his 3s last season after a career-best 38.3 percent the previous season, his first in Los Angeles.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Nets, forward
The net opened cap space by falling to make Hollis-Jefferson a qualified offer. Hollis-Jefferson is a versatile defender and a reliable scorer, but has not been near the kind of 3-point shooter the Rockets typically seek, making his career worst 18.4 percent of his 3's last season.
] Tomas Satoransky, Wizards, guard
A fine shooter, Satoransky has good size and athleticism, which he demonstrated with a memorable dunk all over Zhou Qi. He has made 40 percent of his 3's in three NBA seasons.
Kelly Oubre, Sunbathing
Oubre has many of the qualities that Rocketsne could seek and could be interested in returning home. He seems to be a player to be a more reliable range shooter, but he remains at 32.1 percent for his career.
Darius Miller, Pelicans, forward
Miller is not as effective in a more limited role as many others hit the free agent market, but he is a career 38.2 percent 3-point shooter .
Rodney Hood, Trail Blazers, Forward
Hood probably helped his warehouse with his strong playoff performances, leaving jazz and cavaliers years behind. It would also probably raise him put on the mid-level range, but he could be a guy leaving another standing when the bigger money is gone.
JaMychal Green, Clippers, forward
Although not a wing, Rockets can use another 3 and D on the four as well. Green made 40.3 percent of his 3s last season with Grizzlies and Clippers, which probably made him an expensive free agent.
Trevor Ariza, Wizards, forward
Run it back? It seems unlikely that Ariza would sign the middle-level exception even more so he would return to the rockets for a third tour of Houston. But when the rockets still try to replace Trevor Ariza, he seems to fit the shape.