The Houston Rockets have unsurprisingly been the talk of NBA free agency, as they've seemingly been linked to every player. The Rockets' burning desire to morph into a contender is partly the reason for this, as owner Tilman Fertitta is ready to return to basketball relevance, and understandably so.
The Rockets' leading $60+ million in cap space is the other overarching reason, as they have the ability to essentially pay anyone they wish, and they want to be big spenders for the reason mentioned above. The Rockets have consistently been linked to Dillon Brooks, Fred VanVleet. and Brook Lopez, which makes sense, as newly-hired Rockets coach Ime Udoka is a defensive-minded coach, which the team reportedly emphasized during their head coaching search.
Houston Rockets leave fans in disbelief with latest free agency news
With free agency just 48 hours away, senior NBA insider Jake Fischer dropped a bombshell, as it pertains to the Rockets' potential list of free agents. According to the Yahoo Sports insider, the Rockets could be in the market for Chicago Bulls free agent center Nikola Vucevic.
"The Rockets might prove to be an option for Vučević if Houston’s top target, Brook Lopez, spurns the Rockets’ advances and stays in Milwaukee, but would Vucevic want to join a rebuilding environment?"
Fischer is more than credible on the NBA front so anything he reports must be taken seriously. But Vucevic would be a questionable addition by the Rockets' front office, to put it politely.
For starters, he doesn't defend, which is what the Rockets have been trying to stray away from. On top of that, they already have rising star Alperen Sengun, who figures to be a big part of their plans moving forward and who has more to offer than the soon-t0-be 33-year-old Vucevic.
Sure, they've made no secret about wanting to add Lopez, but why exactly is that? Because he brings championship experience, which Udoka has expressed an affinity for, and he's a formidable defender.
Neither of these things can be said about Vucevic.
There's another aspect to this Vucevic news: the Rockets have been used by agents to gain more leverage for their clients in negotiations quite consistently, which we've already seen with Dallas Mavericks free agent guard Kyrie Irving. This has also been reported to be the case with James Harden, as the Rockets reportedly believe they've been used by Harden to get the Philadelphia 76ers to give him a contract more to his liking (to no avail).
Rockets fans can only hope Vucevic's representation is doing the same thing, as any Vucevic addition would be a real head-scratcher for the Rockets.