NBA Free Agency Day 1: Update on Five Houston Rockets Targets
This year's NBA free agency class is technically as star-studded as any other in league history. I say "technically" only because there's a strong belief that the stars at the top of the list are, by and large, virtual locks to return to their incumbent teams.
Photo by Brian Austin Check out the five best options for the Rockets' possible free agent picks.
But for now, technically the likes of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dirk Nowitzki are all available to teams wishing to place a bid.
Attaching the concept of "bids" to this process is somewhat appropriate since money is the driving factor for 90 percent of these transactions, and if NBA free agency were a metaphorical silent auction, then Rockets general manager Daryl Morey spent the first hour of the open communication period figuratively scrawling his name on the notepad in front of perhaps a dozen or so potential Rockets.
Here is the Rockets-related update, by free agent (with incumbent team) and in no particular order:
KYLE LOWRY, Toronto Raptors
If order of meeting is any indication of desirability, then the Rockets must really be enamored of the idea of bringing Kyle Lowry back to Houston, since Daryl Morey and head coach Kevin McHale made the trip early Tuesday morning to Philadelphia to meet with the former Rockets point guard. Now, you may recall that Lowry's tenure in Houston ended on a sour note, specifically centering around his relationship with McHale, but Lowry seems to have moved on from that time, and after a fantastic 2013-2014 season in Toronto and leading the Raptors to a three seed in the East, he should be in line for a big pay day. Rumors have it somewhere in the $12-million-to-$14-million-per-year range. As of Tuesday night, the Rockets' courtship of Lowry seemed to be, at best, on life support as an attempted sign-and-trade was "dead on arrival," according to CBSSports.com.
CARMELO ANTHONY, New York Knicks
Anthony spent Tuesday in Chicago meeting with the Bulls, who pulled out the roster guns of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. (Gibson is a curious inclusion in that meeting only because moving his contract would seem to be a necessity in order for the Knicks to offer Anthony market value.) Anthony has his meeting scheduled for Houston Wednesday morning, and Dwight Howard and James Harden are both confirmed as part of the welcome wagon. Anthony's meeting in Dallas is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, and expect the full-court press from Mark Cuban, up to and including a Carmelo Anthony cartoon.
Lest we forget...