Tilman Fertitta is denying suggestions the Houston Rockets have let Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute leave in free agency due to luxury tax concerns.
Ariza signed a one-year, $15 million deal with the Phoenix Suns while Luc Mbah a Moute joined the Los Angeles Clippers on a one-year, $4.3 million deal.
The Clippers have only signed players to minimum deals so far this offseason with the exception of Chris Paul's four-year, $160 million deal.
Houston's negotiations with Clint Capela have not progressed.
"We know we're going to be in the luxury tax, and if you want to compete for a championship, I feel like unless you get real lucky, you're going to be in the luxury tax," Fertitta told ESPN before the Rockets' summer league game Monday against the Clippers. "So it is what it is. ... It never even came up in any discussion."
During an interview on the ESPN broadcast of the Rockets-Clippers game, Daryl Morey said the franchise's focus this summer is to acquire players who will outperform their contracts.
"Both Trevor and Mbah a Moute were a big part of our team," Morey said. "That's part of my job and our staff's job is to put together a new group for this year. We feel confident. We need our best team on April 15. We're going to either sign or trade or something to get us back to where we need to be, and we also really like our group."