I wrote this morning about the draft picks owned by the Rockets this summer, in response to which the reader above pointed out the draft-and-stash option in the event that Houston retains all three selections. I agree that barring a trade, such a route will be the likely course of action.
Any major deal would almost certainly include Corey Brewer, not only because he is largely dispensable in relation to his teammates, but primarily due to his price tag. On the books for $7,612,172 this season, Brewer is the trade chip that will allow the Rockets to bring back major salary for salary matching purposes. A potential obstacle could be, however, the $7,579,366 still owed to Brewer next season. For instance, if the Magic found Houston’s young assets enticing enough to part with Serge Ibaka, would they balk at having Brewer on the books for another year? The thinking there might be that even if losing Ibaka in the summer, having a clean cap sheet could be preferable to the Magic, even if getting back other assets.
Tyler Ennis’ entire existence on this roster is predicated upon the $1,733,880 he is owed this season. Were it not for that figure, he already would have been cut in favor of a more deserving young man.
And then there are Montrezl Harrell and K.J. McDaniels, the actual sweeteners to a potential deal, draft picks notwithstanding. Harrell is on the books this year at $1,045,000 and $1,090,000 next season; McDaniels is due $3,333,333 this year, and $3,476,874 next year, but with a team option. Harrell is real value, even if a product of this system, leading the league in points per possession, as I highlighted earlier in the week. He can help a team immediately, and on the cheap, to the point where I would be reluctant to give him up except for an impact player. McDaniels is a different case. He has floundered now under two Houston coaches after being completely given up on by a franchise that wasn’t even trying to win. How is he perceived by NBA GM’s? If even Mike D’Antoni, the greatest innovator in the league could not untap his potential, will anyone else be willing to try? At the least though, McDaniels does not carry negative value.
Sam Dekker and Clint Capela are untouchable unless if presented with the type of deal that will not be available.