11:31am: Iman Shumpert is one player who has drawn interest from the Rockets, league sources tell ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link). Shumpert is making a little under $10MM this year, and will earn a little over $10MM in 2017/18.
11:23am: The latest trade rumor involving the Rockets is both oddly specific and non-specific, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (via Twitter) that the club is looking to acquire a player earning a salary in the $10-12MM range. Houston is offering expiring contracts and cash savings to potential trade partners, according to Wojnarowski.
[RELATED: Rockets to acquire Lou Williams]
The Rockets’ six highest-paid players – all of whom are key rotation pieces – are on multiyear contracts, but players like K.J. McDaniels ($3.33MM), Nene ($2.898MM), and Tyler Ennis ($1.734MM) have no guaranteed money on their deals beyond this season, and could be among the pieces Houston would put on the table. Combining those three salaries would allow the Rockets to take back up to approximately $12MM.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that Houston already has nearly $88MM in guaranteed contracts on its books for the 2017/18 season, per Basketball Insiders. Acquiring a player earning $10-12MM for next season would take the team right up near the projected cap ($102MM), so GM Daryl Morey may be looking to use that room on a deadline acquisition instead of a summer free agent. If they were up against the cap, the Rockets would still have the mid-level exception to use in July to entice a free agent.
Having already struck a deal for Lou Williams, the Rockets will likely be focusing on adding a frontcourt player next. There’s no shortage of potential trade candidates in the $10-12MM range, but one potentially intriguing option would be Wilson Chandler.
Chandler is earning $11.233MM this season and $12MM+ next year, and was linked to the Rockets earlier this week. TNT’s David Aldridge tweeted last night that Denver remains on the lookout for a first-round pick and an expiring contract for Chandler or Danilo Gallinari, so perhaps there’s a fit there, though Houston is sending its 2017 first-rounder to the Lakers in the Williams deal.