The Rockets have told agents for Francisco Garcia, Carlos Delfino and Aaron Brooks that they will not pick up contract options this month. That exception and veteran’s minimums could be used to shift to a much more experienced roster if the Rockets land a top free agent, a plan they apparently will make a significant part of their presentation.

The Rockets have paid the luxury tax just once in the 15 seasons with the system, but according to the individual with knowledge of the plan, they also will emphasize that they would be willing to pay the tax to keep a winning team together.

They would like to avoid that in order to keep their mid-level exceptions, but part of their free-agent pitch will be to assure they would pay the tax if necessary if they want to keep players scheduled to be free agents in 2015, including Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons and Patrick Beverley.

If they exceed the tax, the exception they could use would be worth roughly $10 million over three years, with the Rockets planning to emphasize that even if paying the tax, they would intend to use that exception.