Do the Houston Rockets really want to wait until free agency to land their missing piece?
If the Rockets can bide their time until after the season ends, they will have a Brinks truck full of cap space, and the lure of playing with emerging superstar James Harden to attract top-tier talent.
But the coin has two sides. Once free agency rolls around, there will be other teams with cap space. There will be other teams with attractive talent already on their roster. And some of those teams are in bigger media markets than number 10 Houston.
Yes, the Rockets will be risking giving up talent for a rental player. But I say it's worth the risk, because then they will be able to sell their team to this impending free agent in the most persuasive way possible: by letting him play with their squad.
Let him see what it's like on a team of young, unselfish talents.
Let him see what it's like to run up and down the court like Keanu Reeves chasing that guy in the Ronald Reagan mask.
Let him see what it's like to score like Stephen Hawking taking the SAT.
To me, the best way to land a free agent is to get him into the fold before the other guys do. But it depends on what the Rockets have to give up.
Bear in mind, in addition to my estimated trade costs, all swaps regarding high-salaried players would also likely necessitate a third team, draft picks, cash considerations or a combination of all three.