LeBron James undoubtedly will be the most sought-after free agent if he elects to opt out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the end of the 2017-18 season.
And the Houston Rockets are ready to go hunting.
It long has been rumored that the Rockets would chase after James to try to and add the final piece to a superteam that could challenge the Golden State Warriors for Western Conference supremacy. But can the Rockets resign Chris Paul and ink James?
That’s reportedly the plan.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote an in-depth examination of the Rockets’ season so far, and in it he reported, citing sources, that general manager Daryl Morey will try to sign Paul to a long-term contract this offseason, as well as chase after James.
“They are underdogs, maybe big ones, but Morey has long promised that he will go for it if he thinks Houston has even a 5 percent chance of winning a ring,” Lowe writes. “He will hunt likely LeBron this summer, per league sources, and hopes to sign Paul to another long-term deal. With Clint Capela and Trevor Ariza headed toward free agency, just bringing this group back could vault Houston well into the luxury tax. Tilman Fertitta, the team’s new owner, has said he would pay the tax to preserve a contender.”
Of course, Houston will pursue King James, but it might take some financial magic to make the numbers work.
It’s unlikely that James and Paul will take anything less than a max contract, and the Rockets already signed Harden to a massive extension, so Houston likely would need to dump Ryan Anderson’s $20 million contract to even have a hope of signing both Paul and James.
But never say never in NBA free agency.
Thumbnail photo via Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports Images
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