Houston hasn’t seen Chriss in action much since acquiring him two months ago in a trade with the Suns. An ankle injury sidelined him for most of the preseason and the start of the regular season, and he just made his official debut with the team last night.
Chriss, who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, would have earned $4,078,236 next season, which is now the maximum the Rockets can offer him in the first year of a new contract. Houston is hovering near the luxury tax with $131.5MM already committed for 2019/20, which likely factored into the decision on Chriss.
The Suns were intrigued enough with Chriss’ potential to make a deal with the Kings and take him with the eighth pick in the 2016 draft. After a promising rookie year, he regressed last season, averaging 7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in 72 games while shooting just 42% from the field.
Chriss was sent to Houston at the end of August along with Brandon Knight in a deal for Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton. He and Knight have reportedly been offered to the Timberwolves along with four draft picks in exchange for Jimmy Butler, but the Wolves don’t appear likely to accept that deal.
Today marks the two-month anniversary of the Rockets acquiring Chriss and Knight, which means both are now eligible to be aggregated in a trade. Any team that deals for Chriss would also be limited to $4,078,236 as a starting salary in a future offer.