Nov 14, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) is defended by New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets: 2014 NBA Free Agency

The Houston Rockets wasted no time once free agency started on July 1.

The team’s wish list is long and includes restricted and unrestricted free-agents such as Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Greg Monroe, Trevor Ariza and Eric Bledsoe.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ NBA Insider (and psychic) Adrian Wojnarowski, the league is waiting on LeBron and Carmelo before pitching to any of the other free agents.

The team has put themselves in a good place to land one of the league’s top free agents (read: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and 2015 free-agent-to-be Kevin Love). LeBron is clearly working with the Miami Heat on solving the cap/role-player situation, and Love is most likely joining the Golden State Warriors. Therefore, the team’s attention is on Carmelo. The Rockets had the second interview in Carmelo Anthony’s free-agency schedule. They had a chance to pitch and woo the seven-time All-Star just after Melodrama 2.0’s heavy favorites, the Chicago Bulls and six hours before their neighboors, the Dallas Mavericks. They’re going H. A. M. on Melo.

They also took a moment to “slap” Jeremy Lin‘s face by putting Carmelo in his Rockets uni. Great move.

The Houston Rockets are second in league salaries at $70 million for 2014-15. When Omer Asik‘s trade becomes official, their salary will be around $55 million. Carmelo Anthony’s max is about $22 million per year, so if the Rockets ultimately land Melo, they’d have $72 million tied up to four players:

They also have got to take care of Chandler Parsons new contract, which will be done only after Carmelo’s decision comes.

Parsons is due a big bump from his $850,000 salary in 2013-14. Naturally the money situation has got the Rockets shopping for Jeremy Lin with the sole purpose of unloading his $14.8 million and being able to throw some more money at Carmelo and Parsons.

When the dust settles (and if Parsons gets a $10 million deal for next season), the Rockets would still be sitting way north of $5 million above 2014-15 projected salary cap of $63 million. Questions regarding Carmelo’s fit with the team have arisen, too. By landing Carmelo, the Rockets would have three All-Stars on their prime (Howard, Harden, and Carmelo). With Harden creating offense for the Rockets, how often will Carmelo be willing to give up the last shot? The Rockets’ free agency window is closing. They have this summer, and this summer only, to sign one of the multiple free-agents that have hit the open market. Chandler Parsons’ situation is one that must be handled soon since he’s good enough (and relatively cheap) to be pursued by teams with more cap space and/or winning opportunities. Even though Houston would become an instant contender by landing Carmelo, they’d still have to come out of the super-competitive Western Conference. The latter will ultimately influence Carmelo’s appreciation of the Rockets’ winning chances. Carmelo’s courtship continues as he plans to arrive on a decision as soon as next week, the Rockets may have just become front-runners in landing him. Above all, they’d still have to convince Carmelo to walk away from this:

“Oh my…” – Every Houston Rockets fan hoping to land Carmelo Anthony.

Tags: 2014 NBA Free Agency Carmelo Anthony Houston Rockets

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