The Rockets are deciding between a pair of deals, and that's why they've made Marcus Morris inactive for tonight's game, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Grantland's Zach Lowe speculates that whatever deal Houston makes will cut $1.5MM-$2MM from next year's cap figure so the team can fit in a max deal for soon-to-be free agent Dwight Howard (Twitter links). Rockets coach Kevin McHale said earlier today he'd be "shocked" if the team made a deadline move, as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle wrote, but when Feigen asked McHale this evening why Morris was inactive, the coach said, "Talk to Daryl," in reference to GM Daryl Morey (Twitter link).
HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler hears Morris is being traded to make room for Terrence Jones, whom we heard this morning the team is open to moving. A deal that would send Jones out is unlikely unless it brings back a major piece, according to Kyler.
If a deal goes down, it would be the sixth straight year that Morey and the Rockets have made a deadline move. Houston is currently 29-26 and in the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. It would be somewhat surprising to see them open up space for a rookie like Jones as they compete for a postseason berth. Lowe believes that, in addition to cap space, the Rockets are looking for a deal that makes them better in the short term than not.