The Rockets are now less likely to bring the biggest free agent of the summer to the squad.
Unfortunately, LeBron James has decided to test the waters of free agency. While that is probably the smartest plan for him, it leaves the Rockets on the outside looking in with regards to desiring his services.
It isn’t impossible for Houston to sign James, but it is now much harder. The ideal option for the Rockets would have been for LeBron to skip free agency, opt into his contract, and work out a trade to Houston.
Now, he will be an unrestricted free agent. The popular opinion is that he will look to team up in Los Angeles with other big-name free agents/tradeable players. LeBron could also return to Cleveland on a deal that will last the rest of his career. Either way, he’ll be looking for more All-Stars to team up with as he tries to win another ring.
The Rockets, unfortunately, might now be able to afford him anymore. They could be forced to choose between Clint Capela and LeBron James. While you choose the best player in the world over anyone, part of the attraction to Houston would be the young and developing center. The team would also have to move a ton of contracts, something that could have been done in an opt-in and trade scenario.
LeBron James has informed the Cavs he won’t opt into his contract. This decision is favorable to the Lakers chances, hurts the Rockets chances and the Cavs remain firmly in mix.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 29, 2018
LeBron should have chosen Houston
This is kind of beating a dead horse at this point, but I believe that LeBron James should have chosen to join the Rockets. They were one good half away from dethroning the champion Warriors. Adding the best player in the league might be a little overkill, but it would get the job done.
Family-wise, James would have been able to put his kids in the same school as Chris Paul. While Houston may not be as attractive of an option as Los Angeles, it still would have been a great place for him to be. Still, I’ll respect his decision wherever he decides to go.
Who knows, maybe Daryl Morey and the Rockets have some “new math” up there sleeves. If not, the Rockets still will make a splash somewhere in free agency, even if it’s just upgrading the roster.