The Houston Rockets made a surprising move on Tuesday, as they now won't be able to match any offer given to swingman Courtney Lee, who became an unrestricted free agent after the Rockets pulled his offer:
Housekeeping note: Rockets swingman Courtney Lee is now an unrestricted free agent after Rockets withdraw his qualifying offer— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2012
As rumors heat up that the Rockets are interested in Jeremy Lin, the move to essentially let Lee go could be interpreted as clearing space to sign Lin. Lee, a fourth-year vet who appeared in 139 games for the Rockets over two seasons after coming over from New Jersey in a four-team trade, will now test the open market without restriction. The Rockets are still eligible to make Lee an offer, although it's highly unlikely the club would do so after pulling his qualifying offer.