With many teams looking to trim salary, it's kind of nice, in a weird way, to see a team like the Houston Rockets be willing to spend to keep their players around. First, it was spending the full mid-level exception on backup point guard Kyle Lowry. Now, it's retaining starting power forward Luis Scola, even if it means going over the luxury tax to do it.
The Rockets have reportedly decided to re-sign Scola, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The contract is for five years and $47 million total, though the fifth year is only partially guaranteed according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears. Scola apparently was deciding between Houston and returning to Europe, according to Feigen.
Scola said Thursday he was close to accepting an offer to return to Tau Vitoria in the Spanish league, where he had been the Rookie of the Year in 1999-2000 and the league Most Valuable Player in 2004-05 and 2006-07 when he was unable to reach an agreement with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs had selected Scola in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft.
Scola said he was prepared to move on, but remaining with the Rockets was his first choice.
It's the right move for the Rockets to keep Scola, who has a nice rapport with Yao Ming. But the Rockets are getting to the point where they have to figure out how to turn all their assets into something (though, to be fair, Kevin Martin is something). It's not an easy thing to do, and I respect Daryl Morey for holding out until he gets a really good deal, but if they don't figure something out, they'll suddenly have to pay a lot more to maintain their status quo.