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NBA Rumors: Houston Rockets interested in acquiring Serge Ibaka, Tampa Bay could be Toronto Raptors home next season

Russell Westbrook and James Harden
Russell Westbrook and James Harden
Kunal Sethi
ANALYST
Modified 12 Nov 2020, 23:38 IST
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After multiple postseason disappointments, the NBA Rumors claiming that James Harden and Russell Westbrook are concerned about the direction of the Houston Rockets franchise hardly come as a surprise. Westbrook's acquisition by the Rockets last season raised hopes of a potential NBA title. However, the backcourt of Harden and Westbrook didn't work out and after a disappointing second round exit in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, NBA Rumors suggest the partnership could be coming to an end.

NBA Trade Rumors: Analysts speculate over the Rockets' future and possible trade of Toronto Raptors' Serge Ibaka

ESPN NBA insiders Tim MacMahon and Brian Windhorst recently discussed the Houston Rockets' peculiar situation on the ESPN podcast "Brian Windhorst and the Hoop Collective";

"Russell Westbrook and James Harden are concerned about the direction of the franchise, and what the future, really the immediate future looks like. And let's be honest, those are common sense concerns and it's not just that Mike D'Antoni left, it's not just that Daryl Morey left...but it's a roster that is...it's an ageing roster with limited flexibility, very limited trade assets and it's difficult to see how the Rockets can become significantly better and clearly they have not been good enough to win a championship. So it's understandable that James Harden and Russell Westbrook are concerned," - Tim MacMahon reports

MacMahon and Windhorst pointed out that the Rockets franchise has made every effort to be aggressive while building a title-winning team around 2018 NBA MVP James Harden. The team has acquired several high-profile stars in the past, such as Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and Russell Westbrook, to pair with Harden.

Serge Ibaka
Serge Ibaka

However, the most recent NBA rumors surrounding the Rockets point to the possible acquisition of Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka, as MacMahon reports,

"I know that the Rockets have interest in the Toronto Raptors' Serge Ibaka...I think that's a guy that they will 'hard cap' themselves for...because he would give them the traditional rim protection...he can rebound...he can also space the floor, he can stand in the corner and shoot threes and obviously he has history with Harden and Westbrook in Oklahoma City."

After the recent appointment of Stephen Silas as the new Rockets' Head Coach, the side is expected to end their 'small-ball' experiment and acquire a traditional rim protector. Serge Ibaka has played with Harden and Westbrook on the OKC Thunder and has a healthy relationship with the duo.

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NBA Rumors: Toronto Raptors looking at Florida as their new home for next season

Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has banned all international travel, which has left the only Canadian team in the NBA at a disadvantage. After intense speculation as to where the Toronto Raptors might play in the 2020-21 season, the latest NBA Rumors indicate that Florida's Tampa Bay could play host to the 2019 NBA Champions.

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Multiple cities are interested in hosting the Toronto Raptors, including Kansas City, Missouri. Patrick Mahomes II, the Kansas City Chiefs' star quarterback, expressed his support for the potential tie-up.

However, the Toronto Raptors seem to have decided on Tampa Bay, Florida as their likely destination for the 2020-21 NBA season, as it is located much closer to the majority of their Eastern Conference rivals.

Published 12 Nov 2020, 23:24 IST
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