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Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science: A Dose of Reality

Dec 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) moves the ball as Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. The Hawks defeated the Rockets 121-115. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) moves the ball as Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. The Hawks defeated the Rockets 121-115. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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The Rockets are reportedly still hopeful about meeting with Durant, but the team may need a dose of reality to bring them back to earth.

It’s been reported that Kevin Durant just isn’t interested in playing for the Houston Rockets. While that may or may not be true, Daryl Morey may be a bigger help to his team if he put some of his eggs in other baskets as well.

Today’s Daily Rocket Science will deal with other free agent options that the Rockets have before them and what it would take to get them on board the Mike D’Antoni train. It’s all difficult to predict because of the Dwight Howard situation, though. Until he makes a decision to opt in or opt out, it’s all speculation.

Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web

Kelly Scaletta of Bleacher Report provided a complete assessment of the best free agent options that are in Houston’s reach (i.e. players not named Kevin Durant or LeBron James). Topping the list is a player who has been linked to the Rockets in multiple rumors, Al Horford. He could bring to the table many different aspects of the game, including defense, rebounding, three point shooting, and most importantly, leadership.

Al Horford is the best-case scenario for the Houston Rockets, and the Rockets seem aware of that. Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported in May: “A person familiar with the organization told Sporting News that landing Hawks star Al Horford is the Rockets’ top-line goal in free agency.”

You may have heard the phrase, “A jack of all trades is a master of none.” That has a bit of a negative connotation. It’s supposed to be, “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

That’s the perfect way to describe Horford.

The biggest question in the minds of most Red Nation fans is whether or not the Rockets will be able to improve their defense this next season. The hiring of D’Antoni didn’t give fans the assurance they wanted, and Space City Scoop’s Joshua Van Horn address the potential issues that will come with having an offensive-minded guy coaching the defensive-lapsing team.

D’Antoni’s logic is one of the reasons he is considered an offensive coach. To act as though satisfaction on offense is enough to make up for a team’s lack of defensive strategy is the mindset of a coach whose past teams have had sub par defenses.

Even when D’Antoni’s teams have been at their best offensively, they have been underwhelming defensively. The Phoenix Suns team that went to the Western Conference Finals back-to-back years in 2005 and 2006 ranked 19th and 20th in terms of defensive efficiency.

More from Space City Scoop

On an almost-unrelated-to-basketball subject, James Harden likes his new basketball shoes. According to Sports Illustrated’s Tim Newcomb, the Beard signed with Adidas last summer because they designed a shoe that fit his game well. Look for Harden as well as other notable NBA stars to debut the Adidas Crazylight 2016 this summer.

Harden says the overall design lives up to the hype. “It’s really comfortable, performs well and has tremendous style,” he says.

The all-white version releases July 2 for $120. Kyle Lowry and Jeremy Lin will join Harden in wearing the Crazylight 2016 this summer and expect additional designs and colors—Adidas has already shown visuals of the solar red—throughout the year.

The summer is crawling its way towards us, and the time is getting closer when the Rockets will have to start wheeling and dealing if they want to come out of free agency as winners.

Send our Editor any Rockets-related article/video/tweet/gram/vine that we may have missed via Twitter direct message to @TTOTambz.

NEXT: Complete 2016 and 2017 Free Agents List

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