Report: Rockets “Heavily Engaged” With Bosh

The Houston Rockets are on the outside looking in for Carmelo Anthony, but might find the final member of their Big Three this summer regardless. According to ESPN, the Rockets are “heavily engaged” in trying to convince Chris Bosh to leave the Miami Heat and sign in Houston.

The story is courtesy of ESPN’s Marc Stein. Though Bosh is actively exploring the idea of playing for another team, Stein says that he’d likely only spurn the Heat if LeBron James signs elsewhere.

The Houston Rockets have ramped up their pursuit of Chris Bosh and are, in the words on one source, “heavily engaged” in trying to convince the All-Star power forward to leave the Miami Heat in free agency.

Sources close to the process told ESPN.com on Sunday that the Rockets — though they haven’t been formally told they are no longer in the running for top free-agent target Carmelo Anthony — have intensified their pursuit of Bosh over the weekend in the hope that LeBron James will seriously consider leaving the Heat.

It is widely assumed throughout the league that Bosh will only be willing to leave Miami if James leaves first, after Bosh said numerous times during the season that he intended to stay with the Heat, even if it required taking a pay cut from last season’s $19 million salary. So Miami remains the favorite to sign him…

Sources say Bosh remains willing to take slightly less than his value on the open market to return with the Heat if James and Dwyane Wade are also coming back and if Heat president Pat Riley can upgrade the current roster…

Sources say Bosh would expect a four-year maximum offer of $96 million to jump to leave Miami for Houston or any other suitor.

This news is hardly surprising. A report surfaced on Friday that Houston was preparing to make a hard sell to Bosh if they lost out on Anthony, and included the tidbit that he would’ve been Daryl Morey and company’s first choice in free agency if they had believed he was a realistic target from the outset. That Bosh is open to taking “slightly less” than he’s worth to stay in Miami isn’t shocking, either.

Plus, it was reported earlier today that Carmelo is most interested in the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, and Los Angeles Lakers. Given that intel, it seemed a mere formality until the Rockets intensified their pursuit of Bosh.

According to agent Henry Thomas, Bosh (and Dwyane Wade) will make his free agency destination known “within the next couple of days.” And if it’s not Miami, that the Rockets have amped-up their recruitment of Bosh surely means his next most likely landing spot is Houston.

Would Bosh be a good fit for the Rockets?

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