The Houston Rockets are aggressively pursuing deals to use their $8.4 million trade exception before Dec. 19, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Rival executives say that Houston’s front office has been active in searching out deals in recent days and wants an acquisition completed within the 60-day reaggregation window before the Feb. 19 NBA trade deadline. This way, the Rockets could still have an option of moving the player again this season.
In a deal, the Rockets can use any dollar amount up to the $8.4 million to balance out the incoming salary of a player.
Two teams believed that they had deals taking shape with the Rockets, but sense that Houston general manager Daryl Morey is working to find better deals. The Rockets have been pursuing a best-available-player mantra in talks, league sources said, but there appears to be a focus on wings and frontcourt players.
The Rockets acquired the trade exception from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of the Jeremy Lin trade in July. Houston has until early July to use the exception, but has told teams that it’s treating Dec. 19 as its own deadline to get a deal done.
Despite missing center Dwight Howard for nine consecutives games, the Rockets are 16-4 and two games behind first-place Golden State in the Western Conference standings. The Rockets play the Warriors on Wednesday night in the Bay Area.
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