• Russell Schmidt

NBA Future Power Rankings 5. Houston Rockets


*Photo via USA Today

The Houston Rockets had an impressive 2014-15 season and made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals with a depleted roster. Even though they were dismissed by the eventual champs in five games, Houston proved they will be a force to be reckoned with this upcoming season and a championship force in our future power rankings.

Majority of the roster is locked up for at least three more seasons. Free agents in two seasons include Dwight Howard, newly acquired Ty Lawson, and potential restricted free agents Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas.

Howard will most likely be back; it’s hard to imagine him leaving and taking another haymaker to his image. Lawson should fit well with this team and be successful on the court, but bringing him back will depend on how well he can stay afloat in his pool full of liquor. Both D-Mo and Jones will likely ask for big money and Houston will have to decide on which they want to keep. Retaining both would be ideal, but a lot can happen in two seasons.

*Photo via USA Today

James Harden is under contract until the summer of 2018. Harden will most likely re-sign with Houston for the max. One interesting development would be the potential lockout in 2017 and the elimination of max contracts in the new CBA. Of course that is all speculation, and based on what we currently know; Harden will be in Houston for at least the rest of his prime.

Houston retains all first round picks, excluding 2016, which provides them with assets to move either a bad contract or bring in another piece. General Manager Daryl Morey has shown that he is willing to make the big move and is determined to bring the Larry O’Brien trophy to Houston. With Harden leading the Rockets, Houston will be contenders now and in the future.

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Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com, NBA.com, ESPN.com

Salary cap and contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com, Hoopshype.com, Basketballinsiders.com

Future draft commitments and rosters information courtesy of RealGM.com

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