Dead money easily tops current money for 2022-23 Houston Rockets

As part of the franchise’s rebuilding plan, the Houston Rockets are clearly prioritizing future draft assets and playing time for younger players. Yet, they do have to work within the confines of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and its salary cap rules.

For example, in the trade sending Eric Gordon to the Clippers for a first-round pick swap in 2023, the Rockets had to take back veterans John Wall and Danny Green for salary matching purposes. Both were quickly waived, with Houston allowing them to sign elsewhere while maximizing internal playing time for younger prospects.

Years earlier, in the trade sending Russell Westbrook to the Wizards, the Rockets received a first-round draft pick (eventually used as part of the package to trade for Alperen Sengun) but were required to take Wall back for salary purposes. Eventually, Wall was held out of games and eventually bought out to make room for Kevin Porter Jr.’s playing time as the starting point guard.

That’s led to a dubious situation in 2022-23 in which Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta is spending much more money on players who aren’t playing for his current team than he is on those who actually are. (Per HoopsHype’s Yossi Gozlan, the gap is more than $30 million.)

The good news for general manager Rafael Stone is that none of these obligations extend beyond the 2022-23 season, and Houston is currently positioned to have a league-leading figure of up to $60 million in approximate salary cap room this offseason.

For now, courtesy of HoopsHype salary data, here’s a look at who’s on the books for the Rockets. Money spent on players no longer on the roster is widely known as “dead money.”

John Wall: $47,345,760

Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

Derrick Favors: $10,183,800

Photo by Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Green: $9,710,528

Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Holiday: $5,418,154

Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Moe Harkless: $4,564,980

Photo by Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Ty Jerome: $4,220,057

Photo by Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Theo Maledon: $1,900,000

Photo by Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

DJ Augustin: $333,333

Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Williams: $122,741

Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire