Report: Rockets Could Target Harden, Middleton This Summer

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The Houston Rockets have been near the bottom of the NBA standings for three straight years, but they will be undergoing some serious changes this off-season in order to right the ship.

It started at the top, with the team firing head coach Stephen Silas, who had a record of 59-117 during his tenure. It didn’t take long to find a replacement, as the Rockets hired former Celtics coach Ime Udoka to be the lead man going forward.

Rockets Could Target James Harden This Summer

The Rockets also have as good a shot as any team of landing a generational talent through the draft. By finishing with the league’s 2nd-worst record, Houston will have a 14% chance of obtaining the rights to draft Victor Wembanyama. Depending on how the lottery plays out next month, Udoka might have the golden ticket in his first season at the helm.

But the Rockets are apparently shooting even higher in free agency and through potential trades.

According to Yahoo Sports NBA reporter Jake Fischer, Houston will have interest in some big names this coming off-season. There has been the long-rumored reuniting between the team and James Harden, and those whispers will only get stronger as the Rockets work their way back to being contenders. Harden has a player option on his contract next year, and could opt out with the 76ers and return to the city where he won MVP honors.

Middleton Will Be On The Radar, Too

But he isn’t the only one that the Rockets will target. Fischer also points to the Bucks Kris Middleton, who had been discussed during the team’s coaching search. Much like Harden, Middleton has a player option for the final year of his contract, though he would be turning down over $40 million if he were to opt out.

Fischer goes on to mention Jaylen Brown. The Celtics forward has been reportedly unhappy with contract extension negotiations, and front offices around the league are monitoring the situation and his availability. While Fischer doesn’t lay out any specific rumors regarding Brown, he points to the connection with Udoka as a possible thread to watch.

The Rockets would apparently be willing to part with some of their young talent to bring in an established star. Sources have said that the team has addressed the idea of including Jalen Green, 2021’s 2nd overall pick, in a potential trade package.

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