After losing in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets are expected to make a huge upgrade on their team either via trade or free agency. So far, the Rockets emerged as one of the top suitors of Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, but since they are currently buried deep in luxury tax hell, they will be needing to make multiple roster moves to form a new “Big Three” in Houston.
The Rockets already faced the same situation when they acquired Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers last summer. If LeBron James is really interested in teaming up with Paul and James Harden next season, the Rockets could ask him to opt into the final year of his contract and execute a trade with the Cavaliers. Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report suggested that the Cavaliers and the Rockets could ask help from the Chicago Bulls to facilitate the trade.
“Cleveland could send James to Houston, with Eric Gordon coming back to the Cavaliers and a third team with cap space (the Bulls?) to eat Ryan Anderson’s two years and $42 million. Chicago would likely receive multiple first-round picks from the Rockets for its trouble. The Cavs would then use Gordon as trade bait while shaving about $20 million in salary, enough to get below the luxury tax for the first time since James returned.”
Trading LeBron James is the best option for the Cavaliers than losing him in free agency without getting anything in return. The young players and the future draft picks they will acquire could help the Cavaliers speed up the rebuilding process. Cleveland could also use Eric Gordon as a trade bait to get rid of veteran players on a lucrative deal like JR Smith and Tristan Thompson.
With his goal to win more NBA championship titles, joining the Rockets makes a lot of sense for LeBron James. The Rockets are the only team who gave the Golden State Warriors a tough competition in the recent playoffs. Most people believe that the outcome of the Western Conference Finals would be different if Chris Paul didn’t suffer a hamstring injury.
Since the 2017-18 NBA season officially ended, Paul, who is also set to become an unrestricted free agent, has publicly expressed his desire to team up with James next season. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (h/t NBC Sports), the 33-year-old point guard is more focused on recruiting James to Houston than his own free agency. However, as of now, James has not given any hint regarding his next controversial decision. Expect more rumors to circulate around James and the Rockets as the 2018 free agency draws near.