The Houston Rockets have planted both feet firmly in the Western Conference playoff race, but that hasn't grounded their superstar thoughts at all.
The Rockets have been seemingly linked to every star player rumored to be available over the past few seasons. What once sounded like nothing more than Houston GM Daryl Morey's pipe dreams now carry a strength of validity given the team's improved play (27-23) and the presence of All-Star guard James Harden.
But how can Morey differentiate between players that will add name power and those that will add wins?
It starts with identifying areas of need on the current roster. A quick scan of the Rockets' lineup shows a few nice building blocks, but a number of areas needing improvement.
And those improvements just might be needed before the 2012-13 regular season is finished. As strong as the Rockets have played as of late (6-3 in their past nine games), their season has largely been defined by an overall lack of consistency.
With the Los Angeles Lakers (23-26) and Portland Trail Blazers (25-23) right on their heels, and the Utah Jazz (27-22) refusing to give any ground, Houston may need to add some reinforcements to solidify their postseason position.
Given the Rockets' youth, though, Morey should be considering players for both this season and beyond.