Lowe writes that the team will go after James while planning a long-term deal for Chris Paul, who will turn 33 in May. Giving a point guard a max deal at that age may make most franchises think twice. However, the team believes the potential reward of a championship during James Harden‘s prime outweighs the risk of having an expensive declining veteran on the books.
“We think we have a five-year window with Chris and James,” Coach Mike D’Antoni tells Lowe.
GM Daryl Morey knows it will be up to Paul to return to Houston, but added that the franchise feels good about having him around long-term.
Here’s more from Houston:
- Winning a championship will require the Rockets to beat several teams in the postseason, though they are “obsessed” with taking down one team in particular. “It’s the only thing we think about,” Morey recently said on ESPN Radio’s The Ryen Russillo Show. “I think I’m not supposed to say that, but we’re basically obsessed with ‘How do we beat the Warriors?’
- Morey added (in the same segment) that in approximately 90% of the team’s simulations, Houston will have to go through Golden State to win the title and he admitted that much of the team’s offseason decisions were made with that in mind. “…we’ve gotta obviously beat the Warriors at some point. So we’re extremely focused on that. A lot of our signings and what we do during the year is based on that,” Morey said.