The Houston Rockets have made no secret about their desire to acquire another star player to pair with Dwight Howard and James Harden this offseason. The Rockets have already hosted Carmelo Anthony, but they aren't stopping there even while the forward remains undecided about his future plans. Houston is "heavily engaged" with free agent forward Chris Bosh, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
Bosh opted out of the final year of his contract with Miami in June, which would have paid him over $20 million for next season. There have been reports that Bosh would rather sign a max extension elsewhere than take a discount to return to Miami. By trading Omer Asik and gauging the trade market for Jeremy Lin, Houston is taking steps to be able to make that type of offer to Bosh.
It's worth noting that Bosh has yet to speak to Houston directly.
Chris Bosh still hasn't taken step of talking directly with Rockets, sources tell Yahoo Sports. If he does, things could change fast here.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 7, 2014
Nevertheless, it's clear the interest is serious. Could Bosh really end up in Houston? Let's breakdown this rumor:
Why it might happen
Right now, it feels like the entire NBA is waiting on LeBron James. His two best teammates in Miami are no exception:
Longer James has gone w/ minimal contact, more unsettled Bosh/Wade have become on Heat future. "They're reading the tea leafs," source says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 7, 2014
If James does leave the Heat, it would make sense for Bosh to sign elsewhere. Houston is an obvious fit.
The 29-year-old Bosh is capable of providing the type of shooting and additional defensive help next to Howard that could make the Rockets a juggernaut. Houston won 54 games last season and would be poised for a big jump were they able to acquire Bosh or a player of his caliber. The Rockets also have to make a decision on 25-year-old wing Chandler Parsons, who is a restricted free agent.
NBA Free Agency
NBA Free Agency
Bosh is also a Texas native. Next to the 24-year-old Harden and 28-year-old Howard, Bosh would be putting himself in a position to play for a competitive team for the rest of his prime.
Why it might not happen
If LeBron goes back to Miami, Houston's dream of landing Bosh is probably over. The Heat became the first team since the 80s Celtics to reach the NBA Finals four consecutive seasons, a run that started when Bosh and James signed on in the summer of 2010. It would likely be hard to walk away from the best player in the world and that type of shared history, should James return.
Bosh will also have other appealing options should he decide to leave Miami. With so many teams holding significant cap space in free agency, Bosh could draw multiple max contract offers.
It all depends on LeBron, really. If he stays, it's likely Bosh is returning to Miami. If he signs elsewhere, Bosh is likely gone. In the event that Bosh was to sign with another team, Houston sure seems like a great fit.