Rumor: Rockets still ‘all in’ on pursuing LeBron James

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 27: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on while there's a break in the action against the Sacramento Kings during their NBA basketball game at Golden 1 Center on December 27, 2017 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 27: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on while there's a break in the action against the Sacramento Kings during their NBA basketball game at Golden 1 Center on December 27, 2017 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Even though landing LeBron James is somewhat of a long shot, the Rockets are still all in on pursuing the star in free agency.

The NBA Awards show turned out well for the Houston Rockets.

James Harden finally won his much-deserved MVP Award and Daryl Morey took home Executive of the Year. Clint Capela and Eric Gordon finished second in voting for the Most Improved Player of the Year Award and Sixth Man of the Year Award.

After accepting his MVP trophy, Harden said that Houston doesn’t need to land a marquee free agent this summer.

Rockets’ James Harden doesn’t sound like he’s in “Recruit LeBron James” mode: “We were a half away from the Finals. I don’t think there’s a piece we need to bring in or take away. We’re great with what we have.” pic.twitter.com/FuSTrE9tyr

— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) June 26, 2018

The Rockets definitely don’t have to make any roster changes, but they will take a shot at LeBron James if the opportunity presents itself. According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, the Rockets are ‘all in’ on signing James this summer.

If LeBron wants to play for the Rockets, he will almost certainly have to bypass free agency and force a trade to Houston, because the Rockets don’t have the cap space to sign James as a free agent and re-sign Chris Paul and Clint Capela too.

According to ESPN’s Kevin Pelton, Houston could send a package including Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, Nene, Zhou Qi, Chinanu Onuaku and Aaron Jackson for James.

Losing Gordon, Tucker and Nene would hurt Houston’s depth, but it would be worth it for LeBron James. Last summer, Houston sent out a large package, including current Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams and defensive specialist Patrick Beverley, to the Clippers for Chris Paul.

Even though Paul missed 24 games in the regular season and two games in the Western Conference Finals, that is a trade that Houston would make all over again. A superstar like LeBron or Paul is worth more than a few role players.

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The Lakers and the Sixers will give Houston a lot of competition in the LeBron sweepstakes. There’s also a solid chance that James returns to Cleveland. With that being said, the Rockets will do all that they can to get James in July. If they’re successful, the Rockets could be on the path to their first championship in over two decades.

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