Rockets GM Daryl Morey wants an NBA championship very badly and he is willing to do just about anything to hep secure that dream. This means that LeBron James is in play for Houston next off-season, even after extending James Harden’s contract to over $200 million.
Morey will also have to extend an older Chris Paul to woo LeBron in 2018, and find a way to lock up core players like free agents Clint Capela and Trevor Ariza. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Rockets are willing to dive into the luxury tax to make it happen.
They are underdogs, maybe big ones, but Morey has long promised that he will go for it if he thinks Houston has even a 5 percent chance of winning a ring. He will hunt likely LeBron this summer, per league sources, and hopes to sign Paul to another long-term deal. With Clint Capela and Trevor Ariza headed toward free agency, just bringing this group back could vault Houston well into the luxury tax. Tilman Fertitta, the team’s new owner, has said he would pay the tax to preserve a contender.
The Rockets shooting for the stars as LeBron enters the last phase of his career makes perfect sense. LeBron and Paul signed together on 3 years deals would mean that the Rockets would be title favorites every season. LeBron left Cleveland the first time mainly because he had a chance to win with one of his best friends, and in 2018 the same scenario could present itself once again.
Houston has realized that in order to compete with the Warriors they will need to match their fire power, and LeBron would be the missing component to accomplish that. A few years in the luxury tax would be worth the chance to win a title.