Anyone expecting the Houston Rockets to buckle and crumble after another season-ending injury to a superstar obviously knows little about this team’s general manager (or about the team in general. Yeesh… have you guys been watching at all?). According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets are now looking to obtain a disabled-player exception from the league:
With center Yao Ming out for the season, the Rockets on Monday began the process of seeking a disabled-player exception from the NBA, general manager Daryl Morey confirmed. The Rockets expect to have the exception granted, which will allow them to trade for a player without matching salaries, up to the value of the mid-level exception of $5.765 million. The exception also would be an option to sign a free agent… The Rockets also have a trade exception worth $6.33 million from the Trevor Ariza-Courtney Lee deal. The exceptions are potentially valuable because they could allow the Rockets to take on salary from a team that is cost-cutting as a way to sweeten a separate but simultaneous deal.
Given all of the Rockets trade talk, this $11 million worth of trade exceptions could prove huge… or could just as easily amount to nothing. Few players whose contracts could be matched to that money are available on the market, much less players who actually deserve that kind of cash (the recent trade featuring both the horrendously paid Gilbert Arenas and Rashard Lewis seem to exemplify that those guys only get dealt for each other if their contracts do not expire almost immediately). Signing a free agent seems even less likely given the paucity of worthwhile players not on an NBA roster at this time of the season. This news makes me happy that Daryl Morey has not simply imploded due to the ridiculous misfortune that has haunted his centerpieces, but otherwise, the Rockets may just have added another great trade asset that will stay up his sleeve for good.