Rockets Get Ariza For Four Years, $32 Million

The Houston Rockets missed out on Chris Bosh, but the cap space they created to acquire him won’t be used for nothing. After a bidding war that included several teams, Trevor Ariza agreed to a four-year, $32 million contract with Houston.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon has more insight on Ariza’s deal with the Rockets.

The Houston Rockets will sign small forward Trevor Ariza to a four-year, $32 million contract, a source confirmed to ESPNDallas.com, giving the team a potential replacement if it opts not to match the offer sheet to restricted free agent Chandler Parsons.

After Bosh unexpectedly spurned the Rockets to return to the Miami Heat, there became a chance that Daryl Morey’s recent wheeling and dealing could have been for naught. Houston finalized an agreed upon trade that sent Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans and dealt Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday after LeBron James announced that he would sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers to make room under the salary cap to ink Bosh.

Chandler Parsons made free agency proceedings difficult for the Rockets when he signed an offer sheet with the Dallas Mavericks two days ago. League rules stipulate that teams that hold a resricted free agent’s rights have 72 hours to match his new offer sheet. With the clock ticking on their chance to match Parsons’ deal with Dallas and utilize the cap space they acquired by dealing Asik and Lin, Bosh’s surprising choice put Houston in an unenviable position as the market exploded.

But the Rockets made quick work with Ariza, emerging as winners in a heated contest for his services with the incumbent Washington Wizards, Miami Heat, and others. $8 million per season is a reasonable salary for a player of Ariza’s caliber, especially given his fit on the Houston roster. Kevin McHale lacked any semblance of a perimeter stopper last season, and though Ariza’s defensive merit has become a bit overblown recently, he’s still a major upgrade to any wing defender that the Rockets have on their roster, Parsons included. Ariza’s rediscovered prowess as a three-point shooter – especially from the corners – and the lineup flexibility he affords McHale make him an ideal teammate for James Harden and Dwight Howard, too.

Conventional wisdom was that Houston would match Dallas’ contract with Parsons once it used its cap space, and the acquisition of Ariza didn’t change that thought. In fact, his presence increases Parsons’ viability as a small-ball power forward. However, MacMahon reports that the Rockets are undecided with regard to Parsons.

Source close to the situation told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that the Rockets, who can exceed the cap to keep Parsons, are still weighing whether to match the offer…

The Rockets must decide whether it’s worth paying Parsons more than $15 million per season over the course of the contract without accomplishing their goal of adding an All-Star power forward this summer.