The 2017 NBA offseason has gotten off to quite the start as many game changing trades have occurred just days before the draft. With the 2017 NBA Draft just a day away, teams are actively gauging the trade market, in order to make a splash going into the 2018 season.
One team that has emerged of late is the Houston Rockets, a team considered just a step behind the Golden State Warriors in terms of an up-tempo, three-point heavy system. With Mike D’Antoni at the helm and James Harden executing the offense, the Rockets feel they are one step away from taking the leap into serious championship contention.
With that being said, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, has already begun searching for another star player to potentially join the Rockets. The Rockets are well aware of the 2017 free agent class, and are looking to add some All-Stars to their roster, via ESPN’s Marc Stein:
Sources told ESPN on Wednesday that the Rockets have at least four top-tier free agents in their summer sights: Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and the LA Clippers duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Both Griffin and Paul’s decisions will severely impact the future of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise though if either leave, Griffin is believed to be more likely to do so. As for Millsap, the decision to trade Dwight Howard certainly will influence his decision. The Hawks may lean towards a rebuild, meaning Millsap could pursue other options.
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry was rumored to have zero interest in returning to the team, but refuted those reports and received a vote of confidence from Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri.
If the Rockets were to pull the trigger on acquiring any of these stars, they would certainly have to re-adjust their cap space situation. Going into the 2017-18 season, Houston are already committed to about $90 million, leaving about $11 million left to spend on free agents. This being said, the Rockets have also gauged the trade market for veterans such as Lou Williams via Stein:
Ryan Anderson, Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley, sources said, are among the Houston veterans who have been made available in advance of Thursday’s draft.
Williams, Anderson and Beverley all were crucial figures in the overall scheme of things for the Rockets. Beverley was the defensive-minded player that was able to aggressively defend the top guards in the West while Anderson and Williams spaced the floor and demanded attention on the wings, which opened up Harden’s lanes and ability to attack the basket.
Morey and the Rockets seem committed towards catching the Warriors in the West and are not shy in taking any aggressive steps. With rumors swirling about another extension for Harden, the Rockets understand this window they have to potentially reel in another star.