• This article is a bit of a passion project, as it is something which I thought would be fun to do. It started as a basic free agency tracker and evolved into more, thanks to the input of our Director of Content Keith Cork. Friend of the Ethos, Steven Bagell, also helped immensely with an entire spreadsheet covering player contracts, team flexibility and all that sweet stuff, so be sure to give his Bird Rights Podcast a follow and find it on Twitter @BirdRightsPod.

    Last thing to note is that this idea was generated at the start of the week and needed some time to develop, so consider it a fun attempt at mocking the 2023 free agency. Don’t take it too seriously and have some fun as we anticipate the cascade of news when the promised opening time arrives. As already implied, since this was done under time constraints and is meant to be fun, forgive me if anything slip through the cracks.

    Key Notes – Final Note is the most important
    1. The use of italics (such as Player Name $2,000,000) indicates a non-guaranteed contract or a partially-guaranteed contract
    2. UFA indicates an unrestricted free agent
    3. RFA indicates a restricted free agent
    4. A figure in parentheses such as (2,000,000) next to a free agent indicates a cap hold figure
    5. TBD means To Be Determined
    6. “gtd” is shorthand for “guaranteed”
    7. Two-Way players do not affect the active cap space
    8. TO means team option, PO means player option
    9. For Potential Moves, BOLD indicates over 80% certainty, ITALICS represent 50%-to-79% certainty, PLAIN TEXT represents under 50% certainty


    Rafael Stone
    General Manager, Houston Rockets


    PG Amen Thompson $8,808,000
    PG Kevin Porter Jr. $15,860,000
    PG TyTy Washington Jr. $2,320,440
    SG Jalen Green $9,891,480
    SG Josh Christopher $2,485,200
    SG Daishen Nix $1,836,096
    SF Cam Whitmore $3,217,680
    SF Jae’Sean Tate $6,500,000
    PF Jabari Smith Jr. $9,326,520
    PF Tari Eason $3,527,160
    C Alperen Sengun $3,536,400
    C Usman Garuba $2,588,400
    TOTAL SALARIES + Cap Holds = $69,991,961


    Previously Under Contract Free Agents

    (UFA) Boban Marjanovic ($2,019,395)
    (UFA) Frank Kaminsky ($2,019,395)
    (UFA) DJ Augustin ($2,019,395)
    (TO) Kenyon Martin Jr.($1,930,681) – option picked up by Houston
    (Two-Way RFA) Trevor Hudgins ($1,801,491)
    (Two-Way RFA) Darius Days ($1,801,491)


    All of the flexibility in the world. Houston is the cap-space king in 2023, so, they can essentially do whatever they want (within reason) and with the free agent’s agreement of course.

    Potential Moves

    Sign Dillon Brooks to a 3-year deal for around $15-to-$18 million per annum, team option on third year. 

    Sign Fred VanVleet for two years/80 million 

    Sign Brook Lopez to a one-year deal giving him all the money he wants.

    Sign Kyle Kuzma to a short-term deal with all the money he wants (three years and a team option on the third perhaps)

    Use Kevin Porter Jr. and/or Kenyon Martin Jr. as a trade piece for someone like OG Anunoby (if the Raptors would be willing to do that while Houston flirts with FVV).

    Some Comments:
    I like the idea of Dillon Brooks in Houston. He has become a bit of a meme for good reasons, but his over-the-top competitiveness may actually be a good thing for a team like Houston who needs more fire. I also like the idea of Lopez giving them a completely different yet highly impactful alternative to Alperen Sengun, but the issue would be the minutes for both parties — for Sengun’s development and Lopez as a DPOY-level anchor. I would also pitch a similar offer for Jakob Poeltl as a defensive-anchor alternative off the bench.

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