Player salaries for the Houston Rockets in 2021-22, future seasons

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Although the Houston Rockets are clearly rebuilding and in the early stages of a youth movement, they aren’t yet flush with cash.

For example, when the Rockets traded former MVP Russell Westbrook to Washington in December 2020, they took back another high-priced guard in John Wall. The Wizards needed to send out a comparable annual salary figure to make the trade work under the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), and the Rockets received a future first-round pick for taking on a contract that was viewed at the time as less desirable.

Thus, even though the Rockets began their rebuild by trading stars such as Westbrook and James Harden, they don’t yet have a clean financial slate. They also have veterans like Eric Gordon and Danuel House Jr. who are still under contracts that were signed in 2019 — when Harden was still in Houston and a rebuild wasn’t yet being planned.

It’s not as if Houston desperately wanted cap space in 2021, anyway. Even if the Rockets had the financial ability to sign top free agents during this past offseason, it seems doubtful that any elite veteran player would have wanted to sign with a team that just finished the 2020-21 season with the NBA’s worst record. In a year or two, though, the Rockets could be viewed as a team on the rise with a young core led by the likes of Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr., and Christian Wood. In that context, Houston could quickly become a desirable destination for free agents.

That’s assuming they have the money, of course. Courtesy of the HoopsHype salary database, here’s a look at who second-year general manager Rafael Stone has on the books entering 2022 and beyond.

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(Editor’s note: This list is sorted from most to least by annual salaries for the 2021-22 season. It does not yet include Armoni Brooks, who is on an Exhibit 10 contract heading into training camp.)

John Wall

Photo by David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Player: John Wall, 6-foot-3 guard Age entering 2021-22 season: 31 years old 2021-22 salary: $44.3 million Future earnings: $47.4 million for 2022-23

Eric Gordon

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Player: Eric Gordon, 6-foot-4 guard Age entering 2021-22 season: 32 years old 2021-22 salary: $18.2 million Future earnings: $19.6 million for 2022-23; $20.9 million for 2023-24 (vesting option)

Christian Wood

Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

Player: Christian Wood, 6-foot-10 big Age entering 2021-22 season: 26 years old 2021-22 salary: $13.7 million Future earnings: $14.3 million for 2022-23

Jalen Green

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Player: Jalen Green, 6-foot-6 guard Age entering 2021-22 season: 19 years old 2021-22 salary: $9.0 million Future earnings: $9.4 million for 2022-23; $9.9 million for 2023-24; $12.5 million for 2024-25 (last two seasons are team options)

Daniel Theis

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Player: Daniel Theis, 6-foot-8 big Age entering 2021-22 season: 29 years old 2021-22 salary: $8.3 million Future earnings: $8.7 million for 2022-23; $9.1 million for 2023-24; $9.5 million for 2024-25 (team option)

DJ Augustin

Photo by Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Player: DJ Augustin, 5-foot-11 guard Age entering 2021-22 season: 33 years old 2021-22 salary: $7.0 million Future earnings: $7.3 million for 2022-23 (mostly non-guaranteed)

David Nwaba

Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Player: David Nwaba, 6-foot-5 wing Age entering 2021-22 season: 28 years old 2021-22 salary: $4.7 million Future earnings: $5.0 million for 2022-23; $5.4 million for 2023-24 (team option)

Danuel House Jr.

Photo by Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Danuel House Jr., 6-foot-6 forward Age entering 2021-22 season: 28 years old 2021-22 salary: $3.9 million Future earnings: Unrestricted free agent in 2022 offseason

Alperen Sengun

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Player: Alperen Sengun, 6-foot-9 big Age entering 2021-22 season: 19 years old 2021-22 salary: $3.2 million Future earnings: $3.4 million for 2022-23; $3.5 million for 2023-24; $5.4 million for 2024-25 (last two seasons are team options)

Usman Garuba

Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Usman Garuba, 6-foot-8 forward Age entering 2021-22 season: 19 years old 2021-22 salary: $2.4 million Future earnings: $2.5 million for 2022-23; $2.6 million for 2023-24; $4.4 million for 2024-25 (last two seasons are team options)

Josh Christopher

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Player: Josh Christopher, 6-foot-5 guard Age entering 2021-22 season: 19 years old 2021-22 salary: $2.3 million Future earnings: $2.4 million for 2022-23; $2.5 million for 2023-24; $4.3 million for 2024-25 (last two seasons are team options)

Kevin Porter Jr.

Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP

Player: Kevin Porter Jr., 6-foot-4 guard Age entering 2021-22 season: 21 years old 2021-22 salary: $1.8 million Future earnings: $3.2 million for 2022-23 (team option)

Khyri Thomas

Photo by Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Khyri Thomas, 6-foot-3 guard Age entering 2021-22 season: 25 years old 2021-22 salary: $1.8 million Future earnings: $1.9 million for 2022-23; $2.2 million for 2023-24 (all seasons are team options)

KJ Martin

Photo by Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Player: KJ Martin, 6-foot-6 forward Age entering 2021-22 season: 20 years old 2021-22 salary: $1.5 million Future earnings: $1.8 million for 2022-23; $1.9 million for 2023-24

Jae'Sean Tate

Michael Wyke/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Jae'Sean Tate, 6-foot-4 forward Age entering 2021-22 season: 25 years old 2021-22 salary: $1.5 million Future earnings: $1.8 million for 2022-23

Tyler Bey

Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Tyler Bey, 6-foot-7 forward Age entering 2021-22 season: 23 years old 2021-22 salary: $1.5 million Future earnings: No additional contract years

Daishen Nix

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Player: Daishen Nix, 6-foot-5 guard Age entering 2021-22 season: 19 years old 2021-22 salary: $0.9 million Future earnings: No additional contract years

Matthew Hurt

Photo by David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Matthew Hurt, 6-foot-9 forward Age entering 2021-22 season: 21 years old 2021-22 salary: $0.5 million Future earnings: No additional contract years [vertical-gallery id=52269]

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