1. The Rockets have an abundance of cap space
The main reason the Kyrie Irving to the Rockets rumors shouldn't come as a surprise is because the Rockets have a massive amount of cap space this summer. What exactly is the significance of this, you ask?
An agent would be wise to leak news to established media sources that the Rockets are interested in their client, because it would create an imaginary market for said client. Also, it could help to get said player's current team to pony up, and especially if they don't have the ability to replace that player.
In other words, Kyrie's agent wouldn't be playing his cards right if he didn't tell media members like Stein that the team with the most cap space was interested in his client. Because this could drive up the prohibitive number on the deal, which would especially come in handy with someone like Irving, who is unpredictable off the court, to put it politely.
Agents will use the Rockets' financial situation as an opportunity to get contract negotiations going in their desired direction, because if they can get them to believe that the Rockets would overpay, they know they'd be more inclined to pay them, as the risk of losing them altogether would exceed the magnitude of giving Irving a fully guaranteed max deal.
For reasons outlined, it's difficult to gauge whether Irving to the Rockets is a sure thing or whether it's just a matter of contract negotiations. Only time will tell.