Rockets Notes: Nene, Westbrook, Harden, Clemons

The Rockets got creative with Nene‘s new contract, according to Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights, who reports (via Twitter) that the deal spans two years, with a non-guaranteed second season. Although Nene is only owed a minimum base salary in each of those two seasons, likely incentives increase the annual value of the contract to $10MM per year, per Siegel.

The criteria for Nene’s incentives will be fascinating, since it’s hard to imagine he’ll actually earn all $7MM+ in bonus money. The Rockets may be artificially inflating his cap hit using incentives that will be tricky to earn (even though they’re technically considered “likely”). A $10MM cap hit – made possible because Houston held Nene’s Bird rights – will make the veteran center one of Houston’s most valuable salary-matching pieces leading up to the February trade deadline.

According to Siegel, the trigger date for Nene’s 2020/21 salary is February 15, 2020 rather than next summer, which suggests there’s a real chance the big man could be released during the season, perhaps being traded and then bought out in early February.

As we wait for more specifics on Nene’s contract, let’s round up a few more items out of Houston…

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3 thoughts on “Rockets Notes: Nene, Westbrook, Harden, Clemons

  1. kingcong95

    You’d surely think this was done with Iggy in mind, knowing the Grizz won’t buy him out. The Rockets now only need to send out 3.7M on top of Nene to match.
    But the real question is how much could Nene have reasonably expected to earn to agree to this.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      He already turned down his $3.8M option which helped the Rockets stay below the luxury tax. Capela and Tyson Chandler will get most of the minutes at center, so Nene might just play when Chandler needs a rest day.

      Nene won’t be getting a lot of minutes but will still get his $2.5M minimum salary while helping out the team in its efforts to try and get Iggy during the season.

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