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Tilman Fertitta re-signed Eric Gordon, Clint Capela to keep Rockets’ core intact next to James Harden, Russell Westbrook

Rockets, Tilman Fertitta, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Clint Capela

Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta took a massive leap of faith signing Eric Gordon, who despite struggling with his shooting last season took massive steps defensively during the playoffs. Fertitta explained that his desire to keep Gordon, much like the Rockets kept Clint Capela over a five-year contract, was to make the most of this team’s window of opportunity next to James Harden — and now Russell Westbrook.

“They both want to win. They both have four years left on their contracts, and they’re both 30 years old and they know this is it,” Fertitta told Sam Amick of The Athletic, speaking of Harden and Westbrook. “That’s why I wanted to lock up Eric. I didn’t want to lose him. I wanted to lock up Clint, wanted to lock up Danuel House. I wanted to keep a core group of people together that I think are going to have – and PJ (Tucker) – great chemistry and who are going to get it together. And I think we’re going to be very competitive over the next four years.”

Gordon netted a four-year extension worth $75.6 million late in August, the last season of which will be worth $20.9 million and will go from non-guaranteed to guaranteed if he makes an All-Star team or if the Rockets win a championship.

Fertitta put Gordon on the performance-based blender, much like he did with Capela, who has $80 million in base salary and $10 million worth of unlikely bonuses that will test his performance and durability.

The owner’s hope is that these vital role players are enticed to make the most out of the best years of Harden and Westbrook, who are both 30 years old and right at the prime of their respective careers.