After a disappointing regular season and an abrupt first-round exit from the playoffs, the Rockets figure to make some changes to their roster this summer, and according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, the team’s top target in free agency will be Hawks big man Al Horford.
Horford, who turns 30 next month, will have no shortage of suitors this offseason, with his current team in Atlanta expected to make him a max offer in July. However, it’s not yet clear whether the Hawks intend to offer Horford a full five years to go along with a max salary. While Atlanta appears to be the strong frontrunner to lock up the nine-year veteran, Houston and other clubs figure to make pitches as well, if given the opportunity.
According to Deveney, Ryan Anderson will be a potential target for the Rockets this summer as well. General manager Daryl Morey also figures to be creative when it comes to exploring possible sign-and-trades involving stars like Blake Griffin, Jimmy Butler, or Carmelo Anthony, Deveney writes, though any of those scenarios would be longer shots.
The Rockets currently only have about $46MM in guaranteed salary on their books for the 2016/17 season, per Basketball Insiders. That figure doesn’t include Dwight Howard‘s $23MM+ salary, since Howard has a player option and is widely expected to opt out.
In Hoops Rumors’ most recent free agent power rankings, Horford ranked fourth, one spot ahead of Howard.