We’re officially one win by the Golden State Warriors away from opening the chapter of a far more interesting storyline where we wait and see which team will land LeBron James this summer.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith speculated that there are multiple teams that have a realistic shot at signing James. Of all the teams listed by Smith on this hypothetical list, Chris Bosh believes LeBron is headed to Houston.
On Thursday, Bosh stopped by the FS1 show The Herd with Colin Cowherd to speak about the future of his former Miami Heat teammate. After Cowherd laid out all the potential options, Bosh said, "I would guess that he’ll go to Houston." His answer didn’t seem to be rooted in any inside information, but rather, a personal desire to see the league become something like "the next Avengers movie."
"It’s like the next Avengers movie — Golden State with 100 superheroes and then Houston with 100 superheroes and they fight,” Bosh explained, per Larry Brown Sports. "That’s just what it’s coming down to. … I think with the dynamic that Houston has, you could argue that they could have taken Golden State down this year."
While the idea of a Rockets’ starting five consisting of LeBron, James Harden, Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, and Clint Capela sounds great in theory, there are plenty of hoops that their front office will need to jump through to turn that pipe dream into a reality. If James wants to try forming a super team in Houston, he will need to convince the Cleveland Cavaliers to engage in a sign-and-trade that will revolve around the Rockets dumping their higher-priced players, like Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon. The Rockets simply cannot afford to pay LeBron the salary he wants while they try to also re-sign Paul and Capela.
Paul and the Rockets will need to come to terms on a deal that will benefit both parties. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, CP3 has made it clear that he will not accept a discount to stay in Houston. However, from the moment he reportedly started trying to lure LeBron to the Rockets, he had to know that his upcoming contract would become a major roadblock in their quest to land The King. As president of the players union that fought to give players, like himself, the opportunity to earn a higher amount in their max contracts, it would only be right that Paul cashed in on his hard work. Can the appeal of playing with a formidable super team be enticing enough for CP3 to take a slight dip in pay?
The final and most difficult obstacle standing in their way is re-signing Capela. Following a playoff run where the 24-year-old big man showed off his immense value in a league infatuated with small ball lineups, Capela could easily command a max contract. His decision will come down to whether he wants to be one of the highest-paid centers in the league, or consistently compete for championships. If it’s the latter, he’s probably returning to Houston.
"I think it’s gonna be one of those things kind of like what Golden State did," Bosh said. "(Kevin Durant) went there and they teamed up, and it’s kind of like, 'OK, beat this.' Now I think it’s on another organization to give that same narrative." If the Rockets can pull off this high wire act, the Western Conference Finals next season is going to be must-see TV.