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Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta says luxury tax not a factor

James Harden, Chris Paul

The Houston Rockets have had a lot of swings and misses so far in free agency and were some questions about if the Rockets didn’t want to have to pay the luxury tax. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta strongly denied that and said the team understands to win that is a price they are going to have to pay.

“We know we’re going to be in the luxury tax, and if you want to compete for a championship, I feel like unless you get real lucky, you’re going to be in the luxury tax,” Fertitta told ESPN before the Rockets’ summer league game Monday against the Clippers. “So it is what it is. … It never even came up in any discussion.”

The Rockets currently have 11 players on their roster and are about $5.2 million away from paying the luxury tax but they still have some players left to sign. Clint Capela is still a restricted free agent, but the two sides seem far away from reaching a deal at this point. According to ESPN the first offer to Capela was for around four-year and $60 million. Capela is looking for a deal closer to what Steven Adams received, so the two sides are still about $40 million off.

Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey told ESPN that he is still confident that this team is going to be as good if not better next year, even with a couple of key guys choosing to go elsewhere.

“Both Trevor and Mbah a Moute were a big part of our team,” Morey said. “That’s part of my job and our staff’s job is to put together a new group for this year. We feel confident.