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Rockets decline team options on Troy Daniels, Chandler Parsons; Francisco Garcia opts out

Jun 30, 2014, 12:55 PM EDT

Dwight Howard, Chandler Parsons AP

The Rockets’ offseason will be a series of small moves that may or may not culminate in Houston adding a third star to play with Dwight Howard and James Harden.

Opportunities to increase cap space and landmines that could destroy it are tied to so many players on Houston’s roster. Even how a few marginal Rockets are handled could make the difference.

Three of those moves, including the expected decline of Chandler Parsons’ option, have broken.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

The Rockets are showing a lot of trust in Parsons, and to a lesser degree, Daniels.

Parsons could nuke Houston’s cap space any time once free agency begins by signing an offer sheet with another team. The Rockets would likely match and keep Parsons, but his cap hit would immediately jump to his 2014-15 salary (likely around $10 million per year). Right now, he counts just $2,875,130 against the cap.

Daniels could accept his qualifying offer – a one-year contract worth $1,016,482 – at any time. Had Houston simply exercised his team option, he would have made just $816,482. Unless the Rockets are gung-ho about securing such a marginal player on a multi-year deal, they’ll likely pull his qualifying offer and maybe renounce him just before signing a quality free agent. In the meantime, the qualifying offer serves to cool other interested teams. In exchange for waiting to sign, I bet Daniels will get a larger salary – either through the room exception or non-bird exception.

Garcia is doing Houston a favor. He was slated to make a minimum salary, so his only risk in opting out is not getting a new contract. If he plays next year, his salary can be no lower than what he would have made by opting in. The Rockets, who could use his salary off the books while they pursue bigger fish, likely promised him a roster spot next season if he opts out. They can always go over the cap later to give him a minimum deal.

Essentially, Houston is placing some value in keeping Parsons and Daniels beyond next season. That might hinder the Rockets’ attempts to sign a star, but if they trust Parsons and Daniels, it won’t. It’s really in the players’ hands whether, and to what degree, this backfires.

With these moves, if the Rockets renounce Garcia and Jordan Hamilton, waive Omri Casspi, Robert Covington and Josh Powell (each on fully unguaranteed contracts) and take back no guaranteed salary in the Omer Asik trade, they’d fall $7,928,630 below the projected salary cap.

Pulling Daniels’ qualifying offer when the time comes would add

$509,146 in cap room. Houston could do the same with Parsons, though that’s riskier given the demand for his services, and get an extra $2,367,794 in cap room.

Really, the Rockets are inching away from maximizing their cap space, though Garcia at least helped the situation from flowing completely negative. Houston still has a lot of flexibility, though, and a Jeremy Lin trade could be the next shoe to drop. If that happens, maybe that means the Rockets are willing to lose Parsons and/or Daniels.

They’re on the clock to figure that out – essentially what it would take to land a star – before Parsons and Daniels are ready to get paid.


  1. flyrocket31 - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    blow up the team to possibly sign another star!!!! i love that howard is here in houston but i think he should have taken a smaller annual salary cause he wanted to “win” over money and we wouldn’t be struggling with the cap… In example. the Spurs.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      well Howard did take $30 million LESS to sign with the Rockets…

    • cruzan80 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      @ flyrocket


      They guy took $30 LESS than what was offered to him on the market to play there.

      • flyrocket31 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        yea but is taking up a third of the cap space. hardens only making 14-15mil this year. look at duncan and parker they take less money to win. how much does howard make in endorsements alone?

      • raysfan1 - Jun 30, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        He’s made $5M each of the last 2 years from endorsements, which is less than what he used to make. The way his time in Orlando ended and how his season with the Lakers went hurt him in that department.

    • ddarqwon - Jun 30, 2014 at 7:53 PM

      The Rockets have two superstars signed, quality young talent, and are in position to sign another star or a couple of quality free agents this summer.
      I’d hardly say they are “struggling with the cap.”

  2. Hard On For Harden - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    I think Kyle Lowry’s the most realistic possibility, though I worry he’s headed to Miami. Asik wanted to be elsewhere anyways, and Lin was signed before the Harden trade so it’s been a given he wouldn’t be long for Houston. We end up paying Parsons a year sooner but it’s a risk you take every time when elite players are available in FA.

    • kinggw - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Lowry asked for a trade when he was with McHale and the Rockets about two years ago. Lowry has since admitted that he’s was partially to blame for his problems with McHale. That being said, I doubt either party wants to repair that relationship.

      As you mentioned, I think Lowry heads to Miami or goes back to Toronto. If Houston doesn’t land Melo or Love, I think they turn their efforts to acquiring Rondo. Regardless of what transpires, the next couple of weeks should be fun.

      • Hard On For Harden - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        I only bring up Lowry because of those comments he recently made. Things were entirely different personnel wise last time he was here so we’ll see, but you never know. It’d be great to see him back (I could pull my Lowry jersey out from buried somewhere deep in my closet) seeing as how he’s kind of the poster boy for what Morey does (acquired in at the 2009 deadline for Rafer Alston, Morey was ripped relentlessly). I don’t know that we have enough ammo to acquire Rondo or that they would even deal him. Parsons, D Mo and/or T Jones and the Pelicans first rounder from the Asik deal is about it. Cupboards pretty bare.

  3. sportsfan18 - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    they got Howard…

    but they are gonna strike out this year…

    I think they should simply have STRENGTHENED their team around Howard and Harden… rather than going for a 3rd star…

    • Hard On For Harden - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      Because they cannot do that with the cap space? Asik was headed out the door anyways, ditto for Lin. Your point makes no sense.

  4. xLith - Jun 30, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    I’m a little worried for my team but also excited to see what happens.

  5. campcouch - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    Parsons must be one loyal dude.

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