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Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 8/10/2015

Rockets GM Daryl Morey has proven one of the canniest executives in the NBA over the years, but for now, he seems to have painted himself in a corner. The Rockets have yet to sign No. 32 overall pick Montrezl Harrell, and they haven’t re-signed Jason Terry, either, despite reports from last month that they were close to a deal. They renounced their Bird rights to Terry to accommodate the Ty Lawson trade, leaving them with only a $2,274,206 chunk of the mid-level exception to exceed the minimum salary for either, based on numbers from Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Yet using that exception for either would trigger a hard cap of $88.74MM, since they’ve already used nearly the entire $3.376MM amount that teams above the tax apron are limited to paying via the mid-level on K.J. McDaniels.

High second-round picks almost always command more than the minimum, as our list of draft pick signings from this year shows. Using the minimum salary exception for Harrell would also limit the Rockets to just two years in a contract for him, while three-year arrangements tend to be much more team-friendly for numerous cap-related reasons. Similarly, Terry likely proved capable of commanding more than the minimum, and he’s reportedly received an offer from the Pelicans, who have the $2.139MM biannual exception at their disposal.

So, our question today: What should the Rockets do with Harrell and Terry? Should they offer Harrell only the minimum and risk him taking the required one-year, minimum-salary offer that would allow him to hit free agency next year, as McDaniels did with the Sixers last year? Should they spend on Harrell and risk losing Terry to the Pelicans? Should they sign neither for more than the minimum and keep from triggering the hard cap in case they find an appealing trade later in the season?

Being mindful of our commenting policy, let us know in the comments section what you think the Rockets should do. We look forward to what you have to say!

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10 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 8/10/2015

  1. Dana Gauruder

    Seems like the Rockets have no use for Terry, unless they except Lawson to serve some sort of suspension for his DUI-related issues. As a high second-rounder, Harrell is deserving of at least a minimum contract to show what he can add to the mix. He probably won’t play enough to command much in free agency next season, so it’s a low-risk option for Houston to offer that minimum.

    • Chuck Myron

      I think Houston’s going to have to offer Harrell more than the minimum to convince him to sign for more than one year, which would make it troublesome for them to retain him next summer. Therein lies the rub. If they want Terry, or if they want Harrell for more than one year, they’ll have to hard cap themselves, unless they can find a trade partner.

      • Jacob Jackson

        Are they required to offer Harrell a minimum contract even? Or can they draft-and-stash him, and sign him to a better contract next summer?

        • Dana Gauruder

          A second round draft pick can accept a required tender, which is a one-year contract that teams are required to offer in order to retain their rights to the player.

        • Chuck Myron

          And that one-year contract only has to be for the minimum salary, and it doesn’t have to be guaranteed. So, Harrell would have to bet on himself, but if he did, he’d hit restricted free agency next summer, just as the cap jumps. He’d be subject to the Gilbert Arenas Provision, but that wouldn’t preclude him from making much more starting in 2016/17 than he’d see if he signed a standard second-round pick deal. The Rockets probably want to dissuade him from going this route, for obvious reasons. But unless the Rockets want to hard cap themselves and likely put themselves out of the running for Jason Terry, they could only offer Harrell a two-year contract guaranteed for the minimum salary — the sort of offer that would make him think long and hard about the required tender.

          • Jacob Jackson

            I think the Rockets are so deep, they can take the risk of hard-capping themselves. There’s like 12 rotation-quality guys on that team. So I would prioritize Harrell and the future. Use the remaining $2.27M and sign Harrell to a four-year deal, where only this first season at $2.27M is guaranteed. I think that would be a record for a second-round pick, so Harrell might be persuaded to take it, even though the non-guaranteed final three years are undesirable.

            I dont think Terry is needed anymore. They have Beverly, Lawson, and even Harden as primary ball handlers. They have loads of wing depth, too.

            Terry still has something in the tank, but I think he should sign with New Orleans. They are thinner in terms of depth and in greater need of what he brings.

          • Chuck Myron

            That would be a record for a second-round pick, so that would be an intriguing enticement to get him to sign a contract with three additional non-guaranteed years. Interesting idea!

          • mike

            I would agree with you about the hard-capping point were the season not so long. They simply can’t predict what they’re going to want to do during the season, so I think they’re better off biting the bullet and letting Terry walk and taking the risk with a restricted Montrezl next year.

            But I’m biased because I don’t see much in Montrezl. I see the classic college 4-NBA 3 transition problem with him. But he might be able to turn into Mike Scott someday… Not sure what that’s worth.

  2. Zack

    Terry always seemed like a defensive liability I wouldn’t re-resign

  3. Shaneoo

    Beverly gets hurt often, lawsons issue, they need a third point guard.

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