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!