NBA Rumors: Latest on Rockets Trade Targets, DeJuan Blair and More

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2014

Dallas Mavericks' DeJuan Blair (45) celebrates scoring against the San Antonio Spurs in the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, April 28, 2014, in Dallas. The Spurs won 93-89. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Not every franchise can be the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Free agency has been a fun romp for fans and an even better time for franchises such as Cleveland that won big on the market, but beneath it all resides a sad state of affairs, a laundry list of franchises that gambled it all and lost.

Take Houston, for example. James Harden and Dwight Howard are around, sure, but the front office's continued roll of the dice has left the team worse off than when it entered the market.

More on that catastrophe later, though. The rumor mill is not near a reduction in speed, so let's hit the pause button and highlight some of the most critical rumblings.


Mike Miller's Decision

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 29:  Mike Miller #13 of the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on April 29, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  NOTE TO USER: User expressl
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Everybody gets a Decision these days.

Mike Miller won't get his own television special, nor will he freeze the market and act as a kingpin domino and he certainly won't upset fans too much either way with what he elects to do, but he's still interesting nonetheless.

Will Miller chase rings, or defer to copious amounts of coin?

It's such a hard life for pro athletes, right? According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, two franchises have an offer out for Miller's services:

With the Denver Nuggets representing a superb cash flow and the Cleveland Cavaliers acting as a great chance at a title, Goodman hears Miller clearly prefers one to the other:

The oft-injured Miller, now 34 years old, played in 82 games last season for the first time since his rookie year. With the Memphis Grizzlies, the Florida product posted averages of 7.1 points per game on 45.9 percent shooting from deep.

He's pigeonholed as a deep shooter only, sure, but there is clearly a major price on such an asset. Miller's health is certainly up in the air as always, so there is an inherit risk for all teams involved. Which route he goes is anyone's guess.


Boiling Point for DeJuan Blair

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 23: DeJuan Blair #45 of the Dallas Mavericks stands on the court during a game against the San Antonio Spurs during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2014 at the AT&T Center in S
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

A rather quiet element to free agency that is set to come out from underneath the rug is the drama surrounding DeJuan Blair.

After four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, Blair wound up in Dallas last season and is not of the mind to settle for veteran-esque compensation at the age of 25, so it makes sense that ESPN's Marc Stein is hearing a wealth of rumors about the former Pittsburgh star:

As Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News adds, for the Mavericks, the potential deal with the Washington Wizards does not offer much in the way of compensation:

But for Washington, what has been a rather tumultuous offseason gets much brighter with the addition of another talented post player.

With the news that Trevor Ariza has joined Houston, per Sam Amick of USA Today, and has since been swapped out with the aging Paul Pierce, per Stein, the Wizards need some good news. Adding Blair to a bunch that includes Marcin Gortat and Nene certainly qualifies:


The transition would mean Trevor Booker is fully shown the door, which is fine. Blair is a young piece who fits well with the long-term plan in Washington, and there is no such thing as too much quality depth in the interim.

For Washington, the move would also act as a small semblance of retribution for the front office's decision to pass on Blair in the second round of the 2009 NBA draft, when they instead added Jermaine Taylor.


Houston's Redemption Tour

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 19: Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets speaks during a press conference announcing the signing of Jeremy Lin at Toyota Center on July 19, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Rockers general manager Daryl Morey has dug himself quite a hole.

On one hand, he deserves a salute for being brave enough to purse his own version of the Big Three, even if that sort of superteam seems to be falling by the wayside.

The center of Morey's attention was on Chris Bosh, who elected to take his talents back to South Beach rather than move to Texas, per Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

Morey paid dearly for Bosh's decision. In an effort to make room, he shipped effective backups Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers, per ESPN Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman, and center Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans, while also apparently causing a major rift with first-round pick Clint Capela, per Comcast Sportsnet's Chris Haynes.

Got all that? No, because that goes without mentioning that while Morey added Ariza to the fold, he lost Chandler Parsons, per Stein.

So how does Morey atone for all of this? By trading for Rajon Rondo or Kevin Love, of course. Stein has the scoop:

Either would, of course, be a major win. Rondo enters this season after a serious injury, but as a facilitator with Harden and Howard, he would form an elite trio and title favorite. Love next to Howard in the paint would give Houston the most dominant duo in the paint by far and perhaps one for the ages.

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 11: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics carries the ball past Toney Douglas #15 of the Houston Rockets during the game on January 11, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees th
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

That said, Morey does not exactly have a ton of assets to surrender to appease either of the franchises. Minnesota has been averse to trading Love for anything, and Danny Ainge in Boston has to like what he has in place with Rondo and Marcus Smart.

Should Morey fail in these gargantuan aspirations and both superstars remain with their current teams, then the Rockets will have a great shot at both next offseason with both slated to become unrestricted free agents.

In the interim, expect the Rockets to remain linked to the two, but anything coming to fruition would require an epic turn of fortunes.


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