Houston Rockets: The Clock Is Ticking On Montrezl Harrell


Jan 28, 2015; Chestnut Hill, MA, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Montrezl Harrell (24) during the first half against the Boston College Eagles at Silvio O. Conte Forum. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

What an off season so far!

The Houston Rockets have decided to keep the formula that worked for their highly-successful playoff run last season by bringing back most of last year’s team with a few extra pieces.

More from House of Houston

Patrick Beverley, Corey Brewer and Jason Terry have re-signed.

We were also able to land Ty Lawson and Marcus Thornton via free agency.

Although we lost Josh Smith to the Los Angeles Clippers, this team could still be ho-hum without him but I still credit him for the Rockets resurgence back in the semis this year — if we didn’t have J-Smoove, an advancement to the Western Conference Finals wouldn’t have come to fruition.

As far as our draft picks this year, we’ve signed Sam Dekker, our first-rounder quite easily but there’s has been quite a snag with our second-rounder, Montrezl Harrell — a highly-touted, incredibly talented ball player.

What’s the snag?

Just having the ability to sign him to deal.

According to ESPN’s Calvin Watkins, the Rockets are still in negotiations to sign Harrell and are hopeful that a deal can be done.

The problem with signing Harrell is that the Rockets are dangerously close to a hard cap of $88.74 million that was triggered by using their $5.5 million mid-level exception on K.J. McDaniels.

According to Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors, the Rockets actually had the option of using a $3.4 million mid-level exception but they wouldn’t have been able to give McDaniels the contract he deserved — a three-year, $10 million deal.

He will get paid $3.19 million this season, eating up a big chunk of that extra money the Rockets have, not to mention that the rest of the money will be used to sign Jason Terry and the returning Chuck Hayes which both agreed to veteran minimum deals of about a $1 million per.

That leaves very little money to sign Harrell and the Rockets would have to convince him to sign for the minimum salary of about $507,500 which is definitely something the team can afford.

Live Feed

Why it's not the time to give up on Rockets' Jalen Green
Why it's not the time to give up on Rockets' Jalen Green /

Space City Scoop

  • Peter’s Points: NBA Best Bets Today (Expert Predictions, Picks for Nikola Jokic, Lakers-Mavericks)Betsided
  • Every NBA Team's Odds to win the NBA Championship After In-Season TournamentBetsided
  • Best NBA Odds for Every Game Today (Tuesday, Dec. 12)Betsided
  • Peter’s Points: NBA Best Bets Today (Expert Predictions, Picks for Luka Doncic, Jamal Murray)Betsided
  • Best NBA prop bets today for Spurs vs. Rockets (Trust this Devin Vassell prop)Air Alamo
  • With his draft counterparts such as Jordan Mickey being signed for $1.17 million this season with the Boston Celtics, Harrell taking less money would definitely leave a bad taste in his mouth.

    Also keep in mind that Harrell is represented by Rich Paul, a highly-respected agent that touts LeBron James as his top client.

    Need I say more?

    Paul will likely not allow Harrell to take less so this is quite a sticky situation with the Rockets.

    The Rockets must offer a tender to Harrell by Sep. 5 or they will lose negotiating rights to him and he becomes a free agent.

    It’s imminent that if they do sign Harrell to any more money this season than the minimum it will trigger that hard cap and the Rockets will be handcuffed moving forward through the season.

    You know how Daryl Morey likes to have cap flexibility all of the time and this is certainly a position that he doesn’t want to be in.

    This is quite a challenge that he hasn’t faced before because he is overseeing one of the greatest Rockets teams fielded for competition in quite some time.

    Since coming on board in 2007, Morey has not really had an issue with cap flexibility and it has became his modus operandi.

    In my opinion, the Rockets need to do everything they can to sign Harrell but I don’t think they should sign him to trigger that cap.

    More from Houston Rockets

    You never know what’s going to happen during the season and being able to make moves is paramount to stay ahead of the curve.

    Myron also indicates that he could take a lucrative deal overseas rather than trying to find another NBA team that will definitely take him on if the Rockets let him walk.

    If I were Harrell, I’d find the best deal possible and unless he has a undeniable love/loyalty for the Rockets, I’d definitely seek elsewhere in terms of finding the best deal that would solidify not only my career but financial health as well.

    Let’s just hope these two sides make a pact that could work — I’d love to see him in a Rockets’ uniform.

    Harrell, 21, averaged 15.7 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 35.1 MPG while shooting 56.6 percent from the field in 35 games with the Louisville Cardinals in 2014-15.

    Go Rockets.

    Next: Red Nation Hoops Podcast: Episode 5