It's no secret the Houston Rockets are on the hunt for a third star. With James Harden and Dwight Howard already in place, the Rockets and general manager Daryl Morey may feel as though they are one move away from a championship and a potential dynasty.
By the day, it seems less and less likely that Houston will finish out this offseason without bringing in a big-time player. Here's what Morey told Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated earlier this year:
We feel very comfortable that our two top players are what we need to be a championship team," said Morey. "And we do need someone to step into that third role. We don't have our third-best player on a championship team yet, and we need one of younger guys to develop into that -- or potentially make an addition, whether it be this year or in free agency this offseason.
Adding even more incentive for the Rockets to find that player this offseason is the salary schedule of Chandler Parsons. Here's Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports with more:
The Houston Rockets plan to decline the fourth-year option on forward Chandler Parsons' contract, freeing him to become a restricted free agent this summer, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
In one scenario, Houston could secure three max-out players – including Howard, Harden and a potential star free agent – and then re-sign Parsons to an extension below the max-level range. Parsons could command in the $12 million to $13 million annual range, league executives tell Yahoo Sports.
While it's clear the Rockets are chasing another star, which players would be the best options in free agency and on the trade market? Let's take a look at five of the best stars to pair with Dwight Howard and James Harden.