The Houston Rockets will enter the 2018 free agency period with a goal of re-signing Chris Paul and Clint Capela, all the while, trying to free up enough cap space to make a run at LeBron James. According to Gil Alcaraz IV of Hoops Habit, the Rockets will whiff on two of their goals.
Alcaraz says that the Rockets will let Capela walk with hopes of saving that money to offer to LeBron. While it’s a smart play by GM Daryl Morey, it will backfire on the Rockets, as LeBron will turn down their offer and decide to stay in Cleveland. Losing Capela will hurt the Rockets more than they will care to admit.
Capela is leading the NBA in field goal percentage, is one of the best defensive bigs in the NBA, and has built chemistry with James Harden and Paul. Players like that are hard to come by, and Capela is only 23-years-old. To build a winner only takes one season, but to build a dynasty, you need young players. Letting Capela walk in hopes of getting LeBron is a big risk.
So far, the Rockets will lose Capela, lose LeBron, and now they’re left with their hands behind their back hoping they can snag not only a top free agent, but now they need to replace their starting center all because LeBron turned them down.
Alcaraz believes that the Rockets will have no choice but to reach out to DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers. The issue with that is, are the Clippers willing to let Jordan walk?
Jordan left the Clippers once before, but this was before their overhaul. Gone are Paul and Blake Griffin, which leaves the Clippers in the hands of Jordan. While not on the same level of stardom as his two former teammates, Jordan, who has averaged 12.5 points and 15.5 rebounds this season, could be a game changer for any team.
But will he be willing to come to the same Rockets’ team that Paul is a part of? There was once bad blood between the two, and maybe a change of scenery could help, or maybe Morey will make a huge mistake. LeBron James is the prize for many teams this offseason, and the Rockets are taking a huge gamble throwing all their chips in for a player no one knows where he will end up. Morey has a tough decision to make. Does he keep his core or let Capela walk in hopes he can pull LeBron away from the Cavaliers, Lakers, Sixers, and Spurs?
To put the 2018 offseason in perspective, LeBron James could be the downfall of the Rockets.