Tilman Fertitta recently bought the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion, but the new owner isn’t afraid of investing a whole lot more money in the franchise.
USA Today‘s Sam Amick notes Fertitta said he’ll be “one pissed off son of a gun” if he doesn’t have a few championships, so the luxury tax won’t be an obstacle if the roster is constructed properly.
“Everybody has to remember, I did pay $2.2 billion for this team. I didn’t pay $80 million for it, okay? And I’m not worth $20 billion, but I have no problem paying luxury tax if I truly think that it truly gives me the chance to win the championship next year, okay?”
According to Amick, Fertitta is worth $4.3 billion.
Houston entered the All-Star break holding a league-best 44-13 record, narrowly edging the Golden State Warriors for the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference. Given that success, this is the type of roster for which Fertitta wouldn’t mind paying extra.
Fortunately for him, per Basketball Insiders, the Rockets have $116.6 million on the salary sheet this season. The luxury tax line is $119.2 million. However, the franchise likely won’t remain under the tax in 2018-19 because Chris Paul and Clint Capela are due massive raises this summer.
But it must be reassuring for Houston fans that Fertitta won’t stand in the way of offering big-money deals to championship-caliber players. The Warriors are already doing that, and Houston will need to follow suit.