It would be very hard financially for the Houston Rockets to sign LeBron James this offseason, even if adding him to the duo of James Harden and Chris Paul would make the Rockets unstoppable. But still, Houston is like every other basketball team in the league in that they’d like to add the best player on earth to their roster.
So despite the fact that the money might be hard to find, Mike D’Antoni’s squad reportedly plans on going for it when James hits free agency this offseason. That’s according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who wrote about what the future holds for the squad with the best record in the Western Conference.
In addition to a pursuit of James, Lowe writes that Houston general manager Daryl Morey will try to agree to a longterm extension with Chris Paul, and that the team’s owner is willing to fork over whatever he needs to make sure the Rockets compete for a ring.
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. 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.
The Rockets haven’t won a ring or even made the NBA Finals since 1995, and while both of those streaks could conceivably come to an end this season, Fertitta and Morey obviously want to do whatever they can to build a dynasty in Houston. Whether shedding the payroll necessarily to get James or giving a longterm extension to Paul is a good idea remains to be seen, but if they are able to make both of those things happen, you have to credit the Rockets’ ambition.