The Houston Rockets and general manager Daryl Morey didn’t make any secret of the Golden State Warriors serving as motivation to upgrade their own roster. So much so that Morey was said to be obsessed with the Warriors.
Houston vaunted themselves into the discussion as a title contender by pulling off a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Clippers to acquire Chris Paul last offseason. The Rockets then were reported as being among the teams to hold talks with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.
He wound up being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and now is one of the top players who will become a free agent. George’s list of suitors is believe to include the Thunder and perhaps most prominently, the Los Angeles Lakers.
George has long been tied to his hometown team, and has done little to dispel the notion he would be interested in playing for the Lakers.
According to Kelly Iko of USA Today, the Rockets might be another team to watch on the George front:
In addition to the Rockets’ longstanding interest in free agent-to-be LeBron James, another noteworthy longtime target of general manager Daryl Morey is Paul George, two league sources told Rockets Wire.
Because of Paul’s close relationship to LeBron James, he’s long been perceived as a target for the Rockets. Whether James or George, Morey would need to tap into his creativity to make the financials work.
Meanwhile, the Lakers could more easily sign two free agents to max-level contracts. Doing so would prevent them from re-signing restricted free agent Julius Randle. For the time being, at least.
If the Lakers are able to find a trade partner for Luol Deng, they would figure to be in position to sign two max-contracts plus retain Randle. Nonetheless, they head into free agency with more salary cap space than any other team.
The caveat to that being Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have stressed the team could roll it over into 2019 free agency, when the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson are slated to hit the open market.
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