Here’s where the Rockets fit in the west after big free agent moves

By Tevin Williams
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets greets LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets greets LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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The landscape of the entire NBA has completely shifted over the last few days. Where will the Rockets stand after the dust settles?

Every summer, the NBA dominates sports headlines in July following the Finals because of free agency. It’s an absolute media frenzy, with rumors being thrown around left and right, players signing contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and fans giving their opinions on the action on social media. While the Rockets have had a very quiet start in free agency, the rest of the league has made huge moves.

The action started when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving announced their plans to team up together in Brooklyn, which ended a potential dynasty in Golden State. Jimmy Butler also passed up the opportunity to join Houston and instead forced a trade from Philadelphia to Miami.

We also saw Kemba Walker leave Charlotte to join the Celtics in place of Irving. Kawhi Leonard lit the NBA world on fire with his decision to join the Clippers after midnight. Then, just a couple of minutes later, we learned that the Clippers also traded for Paul George, creating one of the most talented duos in the league.

All of the big name free agents are off the board, so the Rockets will have to settle for budget players that can help fill out their roster. Unless of course, they can pull off an unexpected trade like the Clippers did for George.

Since Durant left the Warriors, there is no longer a clear favorite in the West, but there are a lot of teams that are legitimate contenders. Most teams are still going to make more moves before the season starts, so it will be hard to judge who has the upper hand in the conference until we see some of these new squads on the court.

Instead of ranking the Western Conference 1-16, we’ll break down the conference in three tiers, each listed in no particular order, to examine how the Rockets fit in. Let’s get started.

Next: Tier 3