The Houston Rockets entered the 18-19 season with the belief that they could finally topple the Golden State Warriors and advance to the NBA Finals. However, despite finding form after a dismal start to the season, they were eliminated from the playoff by the Warriors for the fourth time in five year's, and the latest defeat was especially disappointing due to the absence of Kevin Durant.
The majority of the Houston roster was initially expected to be back for the 19-20 season, although ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week that the Rockets are now open to trading their entire roster.
While a deal for James Harden remains unlikely, major changes in personnel are expected, and here are three of the players that are most likely to exit this summer.
#3 Chris Paul
Chris Paul still has three year's remaining on the $160 million deal he signed last summer, and Sean Deveney of Sporting News is reporting that the Rockets are desperate to get the 34-year-old off their payroll:
For Houston, the issue is that the team would like to get assets back that can keep the team in contention and continue to maximize James Harden's prime years. That is just not going to happen with a contract like Paul's.
Charlotte and Miami are among the teams that could be interested in Paul. Phoenix is weighing its options at point guard, but there is an outside chance they'd get involved.
Trading Paul won't bring back the kind of pieces that keep the Rockets relevant. It will only (possibly) free up enough space to give Houston flexibility.
Deveney's report will come as good news to the Rockets, as many suggested that Paul's deal would be almost impossible to move this summer. Yet, it seems that teams are still confident in CP3's ability to lead an offense, and it appears unlikely that the veteran will be lining up for the Rockets next season.