The season for the Rockets just ended and the Cavs’ season is still in progress, but Chris Paul is already in the early stages of recruiting LeBron James to the Houston Rockets.
The Houston Rockets pushed the Golden State Warriors to the brink of elimination, but they couldn’t close them out. With the championship round just an arm’s reach away, the Rockets are ready to retool and take another stab at the Finals next year.
For Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, re-signing unrestricted free agent Chris Paul and restricted free agent Clint Capela are Houston’s top priorities this offseason. The Rockets want to add more talent to surround their stars, but they could also add another star.
There’s no secret that the Cavaliers have had the most tumultuous season since LeBron James’ return to his hometown. The Celtics all but took advantage of Cleveland in the Kyrie Irving trade, leaving LeBron with arguably his worst supporting cast since 2007.
No one knows what LeBron will do this summer, but he will seriously consider all of his options. At 33 years old, The King knows that his reign will end eventually. LeBron needs to win now while he’s still in his prime, but Cleveland obviously doesn’t have the roster to beat Golden State in the Finals.
Chris Paul has already begun recruiting LeBron
Chris Paul and LeBron are in a similar position. Both are nearing their mid 30s and are in the twilight of their careers. As unrestricted free agents, this year could also be their last shot at a long-term max contract. Last but not least, their biggest priority is winning as many rings as possible. Not to mention, the two have been close friends off of the court for years.
According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, Chris Paul is already recruiting LeBron to Houston.
“Rest assured that the Rockets’ understandably devastated Chris Paul — who made a fast exit from Toyota Center late Monday night after being forced to watch the biggest game of his life from the bench because of his hamstring injury — has already begun his recruitment of James to Houston.”
The Rockets are already $19 million over the salary cap and are just $1 million under the luxury tax threshold. In order to sign LeBron in free agency, a lot of important role players would have to go. Some of those players include Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson.
LeBron could opt into the final year of his deal and force a trade to Houston. In that case, a third team with more assets might be needed in order to get the Cavs to agree on a deal.
Signing a superstar like LeBron will come at a big price. If Houston can keep Chris Paul and Clint Capela and add James, they would have a formidable squad. Of course, filling out the bench with solid role players with limited cap room will be a challenge. Although, if there’s an opportunity to land LeBron James, the Rockets have to take it. Having LeBron nearly guarantees Houston a trip to the NBA Finals.