After whiffing on the big fish in free agency while also losing Chandler Parsons to the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets have reportedly set their sights on Rajon Rondo and Kevin Love.
However, the Rockets and Boston Celtics have had no communication about a possible Rondo trade, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. So for now, it appears Daryl Morey and the Rockets will have to look in another direction for a third star.
Why this makes sense
The Rockets made a call to the Celtics about Rondo in February, but the discussions were very brief. Danny Ainge's top priority is to keep Rondo and find another star to pair with him. If that doesn't work out, perhaps Ainge starts getting more serious about trading Rondo, but the Celtics president certainly isn't going to rush to make a bad deal.
And right now, it's hard to see how a deal with the Rockets would be ideal for Ainge. Houston has even less assets than it did in February, having lost Parsons, Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin. The Rockets also included their 2015 first-round pick in the Lin deal, although they're getting a pick back from the New Orleans Pelicans in the Asik trade.
Terrence Jones is a nice younger piece that could be included in a deal, and first-round pick Clint Capela is an intriguing talent. Even so, there's not all that much to like about what the Celtics could get back from the Rockets in a Rondo trade. And no, Dwight Howard and James Harden aren't going anywhere.
Why this doesn't make sense
It's hard to drum up much of an argument for the Rockets getting Rondo, at least at this point in time. Morey can be as aggressive as he wants, but when you lack the assets, it's hard to get a deal done. It's safe to expect Morey to be persistent, and perhaps Ainge folds down the line if things go south for Boston. That's about the only hope for Houston at this point.
I'm pretty confident in saying that Rondo won't end up in Houston. Since this is the NBA and the NBA can be crazy sometimes, I won't say there's no chance of it happening. However, I'm about 90 percent certain that Rondo won't be a Rocket anytime in the near future.