Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com provided comments from Fertitta, who purchased the Rockets from Leslie Alexander in September, after the free-agent departures of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute.
"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," he said. "So it is what it is. ... It never even came up in any discussion."
The team's other moves so far this offseason have been of the minor variety, including the re-signing of Gerald Green and the addition of Michael Carter-Williams.
Along with the notable exits of Ariza and Mbah a Moute, the Rockets still haven't reached an agreement with restricted free agent Clint Capela. Kelly Iko of USA Today reported the center isn't happy with the franchise because of a "major difference in valuation."
Nevertheless, Fertitta told MacMahon he's optimistic about the team's outlook after falling just short against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals last season.
"We feel like we were a Chris Paul injury away from being in the Finals, and we feel really good about this year," he said. "I think come opening night, I think everybody's going to be really impressed with the team that we have on the floor."
Head coach Mike D'Antoni added, "Obviously, losing Trevor and losing Luc, it's going to hurt. You don't replace that, but we'll figure it out. ... There's different ways to go. We're going to be good. Like Chris is saying, we're going to run it back at Golden State. We'll see. We'll be ready."
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the Rockets met with Oklahoma City Thunder star forward Carmelo Anthony in Las Vegas with the blessing of OKC, which is trying to handle its own luxury-tax issues by trading or buying out Melo before next season.