Whatever it is that LeBron James decides to do in the next few days, it seems everyone in the NBA is trying to find an angle that gets him to land with them. The Houston Rockets have an interesting starting point and a good cap situation if they need to trade for him, and if not him, Carmelo Anthony. Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin are just waiting on the shelf as movable objects, but it seems that only James or Anthony will get the Rockets to give up the duo.
While the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks are hopeful that their two superstars stay with them, either via opting out of their deals and signing a new one or simply by staying no board without changing anything (although the Heat really do need someone, at least Bosh and Wade, to take a significant pay cut to help out bring significant players), reality might force them to deal their players or lose them for nothing.
That goes more for Anthony than James. The NBA Finals seem to be a painful experience for James and the Heat which completely changed the course of his decision making. For Anthony, even the hiring of Phil Jackson which breathed new life into the organization hasn’t been enough for him to completely commit. And why should he? He should test out all the options before he gives himself to a franchise that has shown it has no idea how to win.
Not that the Rockets have been very successful in recent years. Aside from making it to the conference semifinals in 2009, the Houston Rockets haven’t been past the first round of the playoffs without Hakeem Olajuwon in the lineup. Yet there’s commitment to win, a stocked roster with two all-stars in Dwight Howard and James Harden and a few players that seem to show a promising future with present: Chandler Parsons, Terrence Jones and to a lesser degree, Patrick Beverley.
We’ve been through the Lin situation a million times. In terms of his own good, playing somewhere else, anywhere else, even as a backup point guard, should be good for him. Kevin McHale doesn’t believe in him, and despite everything that Daryl Morey says, he probably doesn’t really love the idea of having him on the team anymore, despite Lin showing them otherwise every time he was given a chance to not be Harden’s ball boy on the court.
Asik is a big man who can defend very well, rebound, and will give you about 10 points a night if he plays enough. Those are usually a very valuable commodity in the NBA, but Asik hurt himself with his standing in the franchise after his mysterious injury last season and overall showing less than a burning desire to help out the team anyway he can. Both of them are a combined $16.6 million cap hit, and both of them, as far as the Rockets are concerned, are movable if it means landing James or Anthony.
The Rockets will live with keeping them as well if the opportunity to get a big star doesn’t fall into their laps, although they believe that their roster, tax situation in Texas and Len Alexander being an owner that doesn’t mind paying luxury tax if it means his team will be successful is a winning combination. Sometimes teams don’t know how good they have it with things just waiting unnoticed, but when your goal is having three All-Star on your team no matter what, it blinds even the most talented of talent spotters.