Rockets GM Daryl Morey, eager to get his team over the Golden State hump, is moving aggressively to improve the team’s roster “with all players and picks available in talks” with other NBA front offices, ESPN.com reported Wednesday, citing unidentified sources.
Despite winning 118 games the past two regular seasons, the Rockets have lost in the conference final and conference semifinal to the Warriors in consecutive years.
While ESPN’s report says it’s “(h)ard to imagine” that 2018 regular-season MVP Jame Harden would be available, it does say any of the rest of Houston’s roster under contract – “perhaps even Chris Paul” – could be dealt if the right offer comes along.
The New York Times, citing unidentified league sources, subsequently reported that power forward Clint Capela, 25, is among the players the Rockets have assessed the market for in recent days.
Paul has three years and $124 million remaining on his contract. That and his age, 34, appear to make any sort of move to trade him difficult if the Rockets are looking to improve their roster.
However, there is an addition-by-subtraction facet too as Harden, 29, and Paul together in the backcourt posed a challenge for coach Mike D’Antoni this season, ESPN’s league sources noted.
D’Antoni has one year remaining on his contract, and changes in his staff have been made.
Morey appears willing to go all-in on 2019-20 by making not only players such as Capela and Paul available, but also draft picks in 2019 and years beyond.
There’s also this bit of context: The Warriors open the NBA Finals on Thursday against the Raptors, seeking their third straight title and fourth in five years but will face another offseason of figuring out their own roster.