The Houston Rockets as expected exercised their options on Clint Capela and Sam Dekker Monday prior to the NBA deadline.
As Jonathan Feigen reported originally the Houston Rockets were expected to make the moved on these contract extensions.
Specifically the Rockets moved to secure third year center Clint Capela who is projected to become Houston’s starting center for the foreseeable future. Additionally the Rockets exercised the option on second year forward Sam Dekker who has bounced back well from his back injury in his rookie season.
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Notably the Houston Rockets chose not to extend newly acquired point guard Tyler Ennis $2.7 million dollar fourth year option. As CBS Sports points out by declining Ennis’ option the Rockets will not be able to offer him more than the $2.7 million this summer.
This doesn’t exactly mean that Ennis is definitely going elsewhere next July, but it makes it much more likely. If he does not take advantage of this early-season opportunity and prove he belongs, then the Rockets will probably go a different direction. If he thrives, then they probably won’t be able to afford him. Since Houston declined Ennis’ $2.7 million option, it is not allowed to pay him more than that in free agency. This is how the Indiana Pacers lost Solomon Hill this past offseason.
None of this should change how Ennis approaches this season. The Rockets are his third team in three years, and this is the best shot he’s had at being a contributor. They need him to be productive while Beverley is injured, and he needs to carve out a niche in the NBA so he can sign another contract eight months from now.
With Beverley expected to be out until mid November, Ennis needs to seize the moment to impress both the Rockets for playing time and other clubs who may seek his services this summer.
Certainly the choice to not extend Ennis does signal the Rockets don’t view him as a long term roster piece, or at least that appears to be the case. My rationale for saying this is with TV contract money flooding the market the price of free agents will continue to escalate, so taking advantage of rookie extensions offers the most economical contracts for franchises.