Report: Rockets willing to ‘move heaven and earth’ to sign players like Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors handles the ball against the Houston Rockets (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors handles the ball against the Houston Rockets (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets are rumored to be willing to ‘move heaven and earth’ if they could sign a player like Kawhi Leonard this summer.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a real ‘Woj bomb’ on Wednesday morning when he reported that the Houston Rockets were making the entire team and all draft picks available in trade talks. Yes, even James Harden and Chris Paul are on the table, although there’s a slim chance Houston will move Harden.

Obviously, the Rockets are willing to make a major roster overhaul in order to come back with a better team next season, and we already have a clue of a player they have in mind.

According to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko, the Rockets would do just about anything to acquire a player like Kawhi Leonard.

“One league source said that Houston “would move heaven and earth” if it could acquire someone like Kawhi Leonard, who has shown he can lead a team to the NBA Finals — first with San Antonio and now with Toronto. Every other big-name free agent will be on Houston’s radar, too, as GM Daryl Morey looks for an avenue to climb into that elusive championship tier.”

Leonard has been on fire in the postseason, averaging 31.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Not only is he scoring at an efficient rate, but he’s also probably the best perimeter defender in the league, as he shut down MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo in the Eastern Conference Finals.

There aren’t many players in the league on the same level as Leonard, so Houston’s options in this category would be limited. But it looks like Daryl Morey wants to pair a top six or seven player in the league with James Harden in order to compete with Golden State’s dynamic duo.

With Houston’s cap situation, they won’t be able to sign any big name free agents outright, so they could put together a sign-and-trade deal, similar to what they did with the Clippers for Chris Paul in 2017. Or, they could move Paul and Capela in a separate deal, opening up enough cap room to sign a Kawhi Leonard-like player.

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Either way, Houston’s most recent exit from the playoffs has left a bitter taste throughout the organization, all the way up to the top. We may see a very eventful offseason from the Rockets.