The Rockets are trying to make deals involving five players in order to create a roster spot for Josh Smith, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The available players are Isaiah Canaan, Joey Dorsey, Tarik Black, Nick Johnson and Clint Capela.
Smith, who was released Monday by the Pistons, cleared waivers Wednesday afternoon and announced publicly that he plans to sign with Houston for the team’s $2.077MM biannual exception. However, the Rockets have the maximum 15 players under contract and cannot make Smith a formal offer until an opening is created. Stein said the Rockets are confident they can work out a deal, and would prefer a trade to waiving one of the players.
Black is the only one of the five without a fully guaranteed contract, agreeing to a two-year, partially guaranteed deal in August. Canaan makes $816K this year and a non-guaranteed $947K next season. Dorsey will be paid more than $948K this season and more than $1MM next year. Capela and Johnson are both rookies. Capela, a first-round draft pick, makes $1.189MM this year and is under team control through 2018/19. Johnson, a second-rounder, earns a little over $500K and is under team control through 2017/18.