Rockets not concerned with 2020-21 salary cap, but data suggests otherwise
The mystery surrounding next season’s cap projections has every front office on its toes. Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, isn’t as preoccupied with what can be a thinning luxury tax line — something that could greatly affect the Rockets’ ability to sign valuable players in the offseason.
“Our main conclusion is it’s probably not going to impact us too much,” Morey told reporters on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “I think we have a very good locked-in team, so we’re comfortable with it. We don’t have a lot of moving parts in terms of whether or not we’ll need cap room or not. We’re probably gonna have a mid-level [exception] in most scenarios.”
According to ESPN Insider Bobby Marks, that is only partly true, as the luxury tax baseline can drop off from the $139 million base of this 2019-20 season.
That is a major predicament, considering the Rockets have $126 million already committed to seven players. A whopping $82.6 million alone is tied to the backcourt duo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook — both well into their supermax extensions.
Morey has been splendid getting the Rockets under the luxury tax. Matter of fact, he’s received a beefy contract extension because of it. Though doing so with a receding tax line — which is greatly expected to drop as a result of the NBA’s revenue losses — could be a massive challenge with a quite a few roster spots left to fill.
Teams can have a maximum of 15 players in their roster but are not required to have a full team to compete. If the luxury tax line drops even more, Morey and the Rockets might just have to eat some of that tax money to trot out a potential contender next season.