Who can be the Rockets’ third star?
The Rockets need to find another All-Star, and it needs to happen fast. Harden and Westbrook will be 31 and 32 next season and can only be expected to be All-Star caliber players for another three seasons at max. The problem for the Rockets is how do you get an All-Star with no cap space, no draft picks, and no assets to speak of? If Daryl Morey is still the Rockets GM, he’ll have his work cut out for him, but there is always hope.
The 2011 Championship Mavericks were another team led by a supposed playoff choker that claimed a title at the end of their franchise player’s prime. Those Mavericks surrounded Dirk Nowitzki with an unlikely cast of veteran players that all put in fantastic seasons to allow Dirk to claim a well-deserved title.
The Rockets need to gamble on bounce backs from veteran free agents. Paul Millsap and Serge Ibaka will be free agents and could fit into the Rockets’ microball system while also providing much-needed toughness in the paint. Whatever cap magic needs to be done to make it work needs to be explored because the Rockets and James Harden’s championship window is closing and closing fast.
Next: Can the Rockets build another title contender?