The Rockets did not expect to land Carlos Boozer on Thursday. This was only partly because they did not make a bid for him.

The Rockets did have reason to carefully watch the bid process, won Thursday by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Had Boozer, who was made an amnesty waiver by Chicago this week, not been claimed, the Rockets would have moved in to land him as a free agent.

The Rockets had reason to be confident they would have been his choice, a person with knowledge of their planning said, though they considered it unlikely he would clear the bid process.

The Rockets did not put in a bid for Boozer because to bid, they would have to have cap room.

The Rockets’ salaries, even after Friday’s official signings of Jeff Adrien and Joey Dorsey, fall well short of the new salary cap of $63.065 million. But with the cap space occupied by the Rockets’ trade exception, bi-annual exception and full mid-level exception, they are technically over the cap. They could be under the salary cap if they need to be by forgoing those exceptions, but they prefer to hold on to those potential tools.