Houston Rockets: How team will get a max deal for Paul and snag LeBron James

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Chris Paul (R) and James Harden of the Houston Rockets attend game two of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on October 14, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Chris Paul (R) and James Harden of the Houston Rockets attend game two of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on October 14, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets have lost two straight, making their 14-game win streak a slight memory but their focus hasn’t changed in regard their ultimate goal of winning a championship.  As far as future plans, the team not only wants to sign Chris Paul to a max deal but be a front-runner to pursue LeBron James.

The Houston Rockets are inching toward becoming one of the darlings of the league, with their incredible improvement toward dominance with the highly-potent offense to boot.  When all parts are available, it’s quite difficult to stop regardless of what teams do to try to provide a counterpoint to it.

Now use I the word “darlings” loosely because Houston is barely coming along the sports landscape as far as respect nationally and that’s because of the Houston Astros historic first World Series win.  We all know that the Golden State Warriors are the official darlings because sports media outlets can’t get enough talking about them as far as their precision, ball movement, speed and bone-crunching defense coupled with the enormous amount of depth that they have.

It’s cool but the Houston Rockets have something of their own that they’re putting together and the word defense has been incorporated with it.  Just a couple of weeks ago, the Houston Rockets were a Top 5 team in defensive efficiency but these last two games where they’ve given up on average of 120 points per game has caused them to drop to 9th, allowing 103.6 points per 100 possessions.

But despite all of that, the Houston Rockets are still enjoying the title of having the Western Conference’s second best record at 25-6 and is only a half a game behind the Warriors, certainly keeping on pace with their efforts as well.

What goes into building a championship contender

We all know that the road through the championship will go through this team in order to win and Daryl Morey has so much as admitted that all he thinks about is how to beat the Warriors.  This may even be up to the level of obsession, especially the way he views impact free agents worth trading for and that is perfectly fine with me.

But at this moment, Chris Paul is certainly the catalyst to keeping this team in the realm of ultimate buoyancy among the best teams in this league.  He and Harden have formed a nice one-two punch especially with as efficient as both are as passers as both are averaging right at about nine assists per game.  What does this mean?  It creates more opportunities for the rest of our guys to get open and score buckets as long as the ball movement is as swift as possible.  During the 14-1 run that Paul made before he sustained his latest injury, it truly was a joy to watch how good this team was on offense.

He is the epitome of a floor general that is in congruence with the principles of what this team will need to beat the Warriors.  He’s mouthy, he’s heady and pushes the rest of his teammates to their highest of levels.  This is the type of player that we’ve needed for years and it’s paying off huge dividends, especially to the left-side of that win-loss column.

Many were skeptical of if the Paul and James Harden courtship eventually leading to an on-court marriage would work but it has for most part when both are healthy and contributing on the hardwood.

Although the team’s offensive calling card is the pick-and-roll, the team is now surprisingly leading the league in points per possessions in isolation plays.  The team is currently holding at 1.15 points to which none other is close to that.  It goes to show that this team isn’t one-dimensional and they’re switching things up to remain hard to beat.

How James Harden, Chris Paul and LeBron James can co-exist

Paul will be a free agent this summer and it’s no secret that the Houston Rockets want to sign him to a max deal.  Mike D’Antoni tells Zach Lowe of ESPN.com — a great piece by the way — that he feels that there’s a window of five years with Paul and Harden in the back court and Daryl Morey has put the ball in Paul’s court in regard to if he accepts the massive offer the team will make to him, to which I think he will accept.

Morey also has intentions of pursuing LeBron James, who has a $35.6 million player option for next season with the Cleveland Cavaliers before becoming a free agent in the summer of 2019.  If he opts out, all hell will break loose in terms of the teams that will be pining for his services.  The Houston Rockets expect to be at the top of that exclusive list.

Tilman Fertitta has already given his blessing in terms of being committed to paying the luxury tax to ensure this team has what it needs to win a championship.

More from House of Houston

The Rockets will have eight players under contract with nearly $80.4 million committed which, of course doesn’t include Paul.  They’ll have about $20.5 million in cap space which will be mostly used to re-sign Paul.  He’ll have his Bird contract rights and the team can go over the cap to work his deal in.

Bringing in James in may be a bit easier with the aforementioned notions and you can bet your life that we’d be officially what some NBA fans cringe upon — a super team.  It’d be nice to see LeBron here but I prefer a scenario where it’s Paul and Harden that do it together for our city.  LeBron’s stature in pro sports is larger-than-life and I think it would overshadow the greater good that’s going on with our dynamic back court.

Next: Why the Rockets are still considered underdogs

But the Houston Rockets still have an excellent shot of landing him and this will be one of the most interesting off seasons will we see as Rockets fans in quite some time.  It’s absolutely nuts that we’re talking about this in December but it makes for some great conversation of what’s yet to come for such a budding team.  Let’s hope for the best.

Go Rockets.