Before they face the Houston Rockets, LeBron James admitted in an interview that he didn’t give them much consideration in the recent free agency.
Before the 2018 NBA free agency, LeBron James narrowed down his list of preferred landing spots to four teams. These included the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Based on the outcome of the 2017-18 NBA season, James would have a higher chance of winning more NBA championships if he teamed up with James Harden and Chris Paul in Houston.
The Rockets forced a Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals 2018, and if Chris Paul didn’t suffer an injury, most people believed that the Rockets were the team heading to the NBA Finals 2018. However, when the 2018 NBA free agency started, LeBron James didn’t even give the Rockets the opportunity to make their pitch, and he ended up signing a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Before the Lakers face the Rockets on Thursday night, LeBron James had an interview with ESPN, where he admitted that he didn’t really give Houston much consideration in free agency.
“They were one of the teams that I looked at, but not much.”
LeBron James didn’t give any specific details on why he decided not to join the Rockets, but according to Lakers Nation, during the 2018 NBA offseason, there were speculations that “King James” does not like Houston as a city.
“While James didn’t offer specifics in his affirmation, it was suggested back in June that he was not fond of Houston as a city. That nevertheless didn’t dissuade Paul from reportedly spreading word about James’ interest in signing with the Rockets.”
Aside from failing to sign LeBron James, the Rockets also lost two of their key players, Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, in the recent free agency. Ariza ended up signing a one-year contract with the Phoenix Suns, while Mbah a Moute returned to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Rockets tried to fill the hole in their wing by signing 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony from the buyout market.
Unfortunately, Anthony failed to make himself fit in Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system and his presence affected the Rockets’ performance on both ends of the floor in a negative way. After 10 games, the Rockets completely shut him down and announced that they will be parting ways with the veteran small forward.
As of now, the Rockets continue to find ways to address their problem in the wing. Some of their potential trade targets include J.R. Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Lakers.
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