ESPN’s Zach Lowe sees Rockets as sleeping giant in 2023 free agency

With two elite young prospects in Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr. leading a young roster and significant future draft capital, the Houston Rockets have drawn rave reviews for the early stages of their rebuild.

But it’s also worth noting that Houston’s salary cap management has them positioned for similarly strong success in free agency, too.

This offseason, the Rockets traded veteran center Christian Wood without accepting any long-term money in the deal, and they bought out veteran guard John Wall — who was entering the final year of his contract — rather than accepting a trade that would likely have multi-year matching salaries. General manager Rafael Stone appears similarly reluctant to accept longer-term salaries in a trade for Eric Gordon.

As it stands, the Rockets are currently positioned to have approximately $70 million in salary cap room in the 2023 offseason. Combine that with their recent and future draft profile, and optimism abounds.

In Thursday’s The Lowe Post podcast, ESPN’s Zach Lowe explains:

There just aren’t many teams that are this well set up for the future, in the whole league. Rafael Stone, the whole front office… they’ve gotten lucky in the (draft) lottery and all of that, but they have pivoted incredibly fast.

They are ready to be a cap space player as early as next summer, and they’re in a market where free agents are going to look at them. This team is now a sleeping giant in free agency, starting next summer, and could go from bad to interesting really freaking fast.

Earlier in the episode, Lowe referred to Houston’s blockbuster James Harden trade in January 2021 — which brought in future draft assets from Brooklyn and minimal long-term salary — as “an incredible coup.”

The complete Rockets conversation between Lowe and ESPN’s Tim MacMahon can be listened to beginning at the 59:30 mark.

“I feel like Houston has slipped under the radar, and people haven’t realized what’s going on there,” Lowe concluded. “This is a market where you can draw free agents. Free agents will go to Houston.”

Story continues


Report: Rockets declined Eric Gordon trade…

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Author : Rockets Wire

Publish date : 2022-07-07 23:02:48

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ESPN’s Zach Lowe sees Rockets as sleeping giant in 2023 free agency  
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