LeBron/Melo sweepstakes: what the Rockets have to do

According to the many “rumors” out there, the Rockets seem to already have been eliminated from contention to sign Carmelo Anthony, but that could easily just be a rumor. Anthony has not formally denied any offers though, meaning he could technically still be weighing his options all the way across the board. As for LeBron James, it’s also very possible that James could end up there. It seems more likely that Chris Bosh, his former teammate, would be the player they sign instead, but we’ll see. The Rockets won’t have the salary cap space to sign both Bosh and James, and since they’ve already offered Bosh a max contract it seems as though they’ve given up on James, but as they say, anything can happen. Here’s what the Rockets need to do to get either LeBron or Melo:

1. Trade Omer Asik

Well, that’s pretty much already accomplished after they agreed in principal to trade Asik to the Pelicans for a first round pick. The reason I’m listing this as one of the steps is because the trade can’t technically go through until July 10th. Unloading Asik, who can’t start anyway, will clear up $14.9 million in cap space and put them under the salary cap for the time being. Cap space after this move: $7.3 million

2. Trade Jeremy Lin

This is another must do considering Lin is basically worthless to them at this point. He’s no better than an average point guard, and they already have a guy in Patrick Beverley that can be the starter at that position. Lin has been linked in trade rumors to the 76ers because of their huge amount of cap space and the fact that they’re probably going to tank again next year. Lin’s salary is $14.9 million as well, which is a huge move for them. They’ll probably have to give up a pick as well to be able to move Lin, but if they’re going to end up with a super team, I don’t think having a bunch of draft picks is necessary. They’re trying to win now. Cap space after this move: $22.2 million

Actually trading both of these guys would probably give them enough space to sign someone to a max contract, no matter who it is. They already have a max deal on the table for Bosh, who apparently is seriously considering taking it. He’s probably waiting for James to make a move though, and if James re-signs with the Heat for example, then Bosh might stay in Miami as well and allow the Rockets to sign Anthony. If the Rockets got either James or Anthony, they’d fill the SF slot and not have to worry about Chandler Parsons, who is also a free agent. Parsons is a great player, but I think they’d still rather have one of the best players in the league than Parsons. If worse comes to worse and the Rockets don’t get Bosh, James, or Anthony, then they can probably still sign Parsons as long as they trade Lin to clear space for him. No matter what happens, I think the Rockets are in a good situation. Whether they’re necessarily going to get better is the question, but I think even retaining Parsons is a good move for the future.

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