“Houston is always going to be my first choice," Lee said. "It’s up to those guys, if I get an offer, whether they match it or if they just come out and give me an offer.”
The Rockets acquired the former first-round pick as part of a four-way trade before the 2010/11 season, and used the 6'5", 200-pound shooting guard primarily as a backup until starter Kevin Martin got hurt midway through this season. Lee has averaged 14.2 PPG in 25 games as a starter this year, well above his career mark of 10.0 PPG.
A few teams, including the Pacers, Bulls and Clippers, were reportedly interested in trading for Lee this season, but the Rockets' price was too high. Houston's qualifying offer on Lee is $3.22MM, but he figures to command significantly more than that. The Pacers, in particular, will have plenty of cap room if they are still interested in pursuing him, and other teams in need of a shooting guard, like the Timberwolves, could get involved. The Rockets will have tough decisions to make on Lee and fellow free agent Goran Dragic. Both entered the season as backup guards, but emerged as starters and played well in the second half of the season.