Was there a time you thought you would lose the Houston series? Bob Myers: Oh, yeah. Game 6 — well, when we lost Game 4, I feel like you can never give away a playoff game, especially at home. You just, then you feel like you have to beat the team five times, and that’s hard to do against a really good team. So, for us to lose our composure — and Houston had a lot to do with that, in Game 4 — and lose that game being up 10 going into the fourth quarter, I thought, maybe this isn’t it. And then to be down in Game 6 10 at that half — and not just being down, but being down and not showing the fight. I said to somebody, I said ‘we’re going to find out, right now.’ And that was halftime of Game 6. And we brought it, we came back and won. And then being down in Game 7 on the road, I didn’t know if we had another one in there. But, that’s where our guys, I mean, whatever words you want to use, the championship pedigree, the trust, the ability, the faith, the character, that’s what gets you to nights like tonight.
According to two people with knowledge of the Rockets’ thinking, the team’s general manager Daryl Morey is intent on moving Anderson in a trade. One person said the Rockets could pursue buyout options if no such agreement is met. Both people requested anonymity because they are unauthorized to speak on the record of Anderson’s situation. The players’ union had decided it didn’t want to smooth the salary cap jump over several years, and instead wanted most of the money at once. This obviously benefited those who would enter free agency in 2016, as there were a number of notable names. To the front offices, however, this was a mistake, and once the cap stopped rising, a lot of teams were left with undesirable, albatross contracts for middle-of-the-park level talent.
Storyline: Ryan Anderson Trade?
My best forecast at this juncture? Fixate on Chris Paul. If Paul stays with the Rockets, Houston becomes a dangerous player, no matter how complicated it would be for the 65-win Rockets and their general manager, Daryl Morey, to orchestrate the requisite salary-cap gymnastics to bring James in. But don’t discount the idea that James could try to bring Paul with him to a team that can afford two superstars, such as the Lakers, because he and Paul really are that close.
James will have three full weeks now to dig into the various options, study the landscape for the most fertile locales for title contention and, perhaps most crucially, make clandestine connections with the starry likes of Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and, yes, Paul and James Harden to explore the prospects of teaming up somewhere with stars of that ilk. But this is as far as I’ll go with guarantees before the LeBron Sweepstakes officially begin: James will not feel as though he owes Cleveland anything after these last four seasons.
If Paul stays with the Rockets, Houston becomes the closest thing to a favorite on my scorecard, no matter how complicated it would be for the 65-win Rockets and their general manager, Daryl Morey, to orchestrate the requisite salary-cap gymnastics to bring James in. But don’t discount the idea that James could try to bring Paul with him to a team that can afford two superstars, such as the Lakers, because he and Paul really are that close.