The Houston Rockets currently hold the 25th pick in the first round of the NBA Draft tonight. But all the buzz surrounding the team has nothing to do with the draft, and what kind of player they might get with their pick.
The talk is all about free agency. The Rockets have made two huge moves in the last two off-seasons. Last summer they signed free agent center Dwight Howard away from the Los Angeles Lakers. Two years ago they pulled off a lopsided trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder for James Harden. This time around, their move could be even bigger.
That’s because the best player in the league, LeBron James, has reportedly decided to opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat. That means he will officially become a free agent. And the Rockets are reported to have interest.
James isn’t the only player the Rockets may be eyeing. Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks also opted out of his contract and will hit the open market next week on July 1st. Reports indicate the Rockets are high on his list of teams to talk to.
The Rockets cannot comment on either player because they are not yet officially free agents. But Rockets play by play man Craig Ackerman told KTRH expect the Rockets to try to get something done to improve this roster.
“The Rockets have been extremely aggressive, if not the most aggressive team in the league in trying to pursue trades and other avenues to try and strengthen the roster,” Ackerman explained.
But pursuing a ‘big fish’ and landing one may be two entirely different stories. The Rockets have salary cap issues. But Ackerman says they will try to work around them.
“They are creative. Obviously several players have to be traded, but this team has indicated in the past it is willing to do whatever it takes,” Ackerman explained.
And they may already have made their first move. According to multiple reports the team on Wednesday night dealt big man Omer Asik to New Orleans for a 2015 draft pick. The move frees up cap space for the club.
Asik is going into the last year of a three-year contract where he will earn $15 million as part of a balloon salary Houston gave him in a complex deal in 2011.