Rockets Must Clear Hurdles, Weigh Consequences Before Joining LeBron Sweepstakes

Chris Paul couldn’t help the Houston Rockets get to the NBA Finals, but he will be vital in determining whether they should keep their crew intact after it nearly knocked off the Golden State Warriors without him, or if they should spend all their money on tickets for the LeBron James Sweepstakes.

“If you have the chance to get him, you get him,” said one Western Conference general manager. “They’ll know pretty early because of Chris and LeBron’s relationship if (James’ interest in the Rockets)nfl replica jerseys cheap  is real. If it’s real, you do anything to get it done.”

Houston has one minor bit of housekeeping to take care of before going after LeBron: re-signing Paul, who is an unrestricted free agent as of July 1. League sources consider it a mere formality that he re-ups with the Rockets, though, and one executive suggested the two sides have probably already settled on the general terms of a new deal.

James, of course, has to forgo his player option for next season with the Cavs before the Rockets or anyone else can pursue him as a free agent, but that’s also believed to be a formality.replica nfl jerseys

Acquiring LeBron via free agency would be just as complicated. The Rockets would have cap holds on or have to renounce a variety of soon-to-be free agents who were instrumental in helping them to a league-best 65 wins and pushing the Warriors to a full seven games in the Western Conference Finals. They include Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. They most likely would have to move a couple of players already under contract as well.

“The cap gymnastics are really tough,” nfl replica jerseys said the Western Conference GM. “[Eric] Gordon and Ryan [Anderson] would have to be gone.”

Finding a taker for Gordon would not be difficult after his performance before and after he stepped in as a starter in place of Paul, who missed Games 6 and 7 against the Warriors with what the official Game 6 box score listed as a “sore hamstring.”

Gordon, 30, has two years remaining on his cheap nfl replica jerseys  contract for $27.6 million, which is highly attractive for a solid defender and an 18-point-per-game scorer with an inside-outside game who is willing to come off the bench.

Anderson is another story. The Rockets, league sources say, tried to move him last summer when it became clear he didn’t fit coach Mike D’Antoni’s system as a stretch 4. The 30-year-old also has two years left on his deal but has nearly $42 million still coming to him. Houston, the Western Conference GM said, was offering two first-round picks as enticement and got no takers.