No ink goes on contracts for a few days, but the agreements surrounding NBA free agency appear to be falling into place. The one big exception of course is Kawhi Leonard’s decision, and he is taking his sweet time.
A lot has gone on in the past couple days, and if you were caught up in the East Coast-West Coast shuffle, you might have overlooked the goings on in Texas, where some interesting moves have been made.
The Houston Rockets have been the headliners in these parts, all because of their quest for one high-powered player, Jimmy Butler of Philadelphia.

Butler Out

That whole deal apparently fell though for Clutch City, though. The Miami Heat got the first shot at Butler, and for whatever reason the scoring forward decided to take his talents to South Beach instead of his native city.
It’s not a done deal yet – plenty of other things need to fall into place. But with Butler out of the picture, the Rockets will have to resort to Plan B.
That means settling things at the center position and maybe, just maybe, getting a star swingman. Yep, not having to dump half the team to get Butler means some flexibility elsewhere.

Igoudala In?

The latest focus is Andre Igoudala, a player some considered to be a key piece of the Golden State Warriors reign. The Warriors traded him to Memphis as part of the deal that sent Kevin Durant to Brooklyn.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is counting on Igoudala wanting to play with a contender, enough to have his contract bought out by the Grizzlies and start anew in Houston. It is something akin to a 3-point shot, but that’s where the Rockets are right now.

The Big-Man Situation

Then the Rockets have to deal with the center situation. They were ready to include Clint Capela in a deal to get Butler, but now that is apparently out of the way, and they have decisions to make.
The options here?

  •  Keep Capela, and shore up his backup – Nene is in the free-agency shuffle, too. The risk here is Capela’s possible disdain for being a pawn in the Butler option.
  •  Let Capela go and go after the other centers they have been looking at, namely Kevon Looney and JaVale McGee. Yes, they would be letting a good one go, but also most of his $90 million contract.
  •  Stand pat with the whole crowd, including Kenneth Faried.

And why not stand pat? The Rockets were arguably the second or third best team in the league last year, and there’s no telling how the rest of the NBA will do after all of this shifting of talent.

Other “House”-Keeping

Meanwhile, the Rockets have gone about maintaining their strengths by securing a deal with a couple of other native Houstonians. Danuel House Jr., is planning to sign a 3-year, $11.1 million contract, and Gerald Green has reached a deal to stay another three years.
A lot could take place in the next few days, but the Rockets are guaranteed to have a lineup worth ticket sales in Houston.

Mavs Moves

And speaking of ticket sales, won’t it be fun to see Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic on the floor together? How about Danny Green and Seth Curry firing up 3s?
That’s the way things are shaping up in Big D, as the Mavericks are solidifying some deals.
Porzingis is apparently receiving the max (5 years, $158 million) for his services, despite his injury history. It will be interesting to see how he compliments Rookie-of-The-Year Doncic.
The Mavs got Curry on a $32 million, 4-year deal. Playing for Portland, he shot a higher 3-point percentage (45%) than his brother last year.
Now the Mavs still have some cap space to go after Green or someone else.
It is not the East Coast or the West Coast, but these new-look lineups should be causing Texas hoops fans to buy NBA tickets.