According to a report from Brian Kotloff of Sports Illustrated via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicles, the Rockets are going all in when the free agent period gets underway, as they have targeted not only Dwight Howard as a possible acquisition, but also Chris Paul.
“They are targets No. 1 and 1A,” a source told Feigen.
While Howard has expressed interest in playing for Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, has spoken with Rockets starters James Harden and Chandler Parsons, and would be open to accepting the max four-year deal as opposed to the Lakers’ five-year max, wooing Paul appears to be a bigger challenge.
The team’s best option to create cap space is trading 22-year-old power forward Thomas Robinson, acquired from the Sacramento Kings in a February deal, but a source told Feigen “there are about 20 other ways” to create enough room.
Houston could pay Howard $20.5 million and Paul $18.7 million in their first seasons to make the moves work.
If the Rockets could pull this off, they would definitely have to be considered the favorites in the Western Conference. It’s nice in theory but making it happen will involve a lot of luck and one hell of a sales pitch.