Speculation ran rampant as anticipation continued to build over what LeBron James would decide in 2018 NBA free agency. Most reports linked him to re-signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, or joining the Los Angeles Lakers or Philadelphia 76ers.
Several teams seemingly remained on the periphery, with the Houston Rockets among them. While signing James to a max contract would have required some creativity, the Rockets represented an intriguing scenario.
Not only were they coming off a 65-win season and trip to the Western Conference Finals where they nearly knocked off eventual champion Golden State Warriors, but signing with the Rockets would mean James could play alongside close friend Chris Paul.
Houston didn’t so much as receive a free agency meeting with James before he signed a four-year contract with the Lakers. Ahead of facing Paul and the Rockets on Thursday, James confirmed he didn’t not give much consideration to signing with the team, via ESPN
“They were one of the teams that I looked at, but not much.”
While James didn’t offer specifics in his affirmation, it was suggested back in June that he was not fond of Houston as a city. That nevertheless didn’t dissuade Paul from reportedly spreading word about James’ interest in signing with the Rockets.
Although they missed out on the three-time champion, the Rockets went on to sign Carmelo Anthony, a close friend of both James and Paul. That proved to be a fail experiment as they are now seeking a resolution after Anthony played in just 10 games for them.
James reportedly has interest in Anthony joining the Lakers, but the front office is not keen to the possibility.