The Houston Rockets are not messing around in their quest to land both Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. The latest NBA rumors (subscription needed) have the Rockets shopping Jeremy Lin in order to free up more cap space. According to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, the best landing spot would be with the Golden State Warriors, but they might have to use Chandler Parsons as bait in order to get the deal done.
After trading Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Rockets only have two more contracts to get rid of if they want to create the newest super team. If the ultimate goal is to pair Anthony, James and Dwight Howard, there are a handful of dominoes that need to fall. First off, the Rockets have to get rid of Lin and his $8.4 million salary. The big issue here is that the Warriors aren’t just going to jump at Lin for the sake of helping the Rockets become a super team. They’re going to want more value and having Parsons in the deal might be enough to get them over the hump.
Let’s not forget how much of a leap Parsons has taken since he’s been in the league — he averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 2013-14, which were all career highs. He shot 47.2 percent from the field and 37.0 percent from the 3-point line, which are both in line with his career averages. He’s not a superstar, but he’s right on the cusp of being an All-Star and would give the Warriors more options on the perimeter.
As far as the Rockets are concerned, it’s not going to be enough to get both Anthony and James. They’ll have the cap space to sign one of them, but James Harden and his maximum contract would be standing in the way. They’d have to find a way to move him and both the Knicks and Heat would love to get a star back instead of simply watching their best player walk away for nothing.
Sign and trade deals are a big part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and one would have to be used in order to get this done. By no means is any of this a done deal but if we’ve learned anything about Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey, we’ve learned that he’s not afraid to make a big splash and he’s not afraid to spend money to be competitive.
We could go on and on about whether the Rockets would be better with James and Anthony instead of Harden and James/Anthony, but we’ll save that piece for another day.