A year removed from a Western Conference Finals appearance, the Houston Rockets are determined to regain their form and climb back to the top of the pack. There isn't much worry about Dwight Howard likely leaving, but there is an urgency to recruit top tier talent from the free agent market.

The mostly highly coveted player out there is, of course, Kevin Durant. Most pundits believe he'll remain with the Oklahoma City Thunder for another season or two, but if he does leave, Houston doesn't appear to be a consideration.

As ESPN's Marc Stein reported last week, Durant does not look at the Rockets as an option in free agency. Apparently, that report has not fazed general manager Daryl Morey and the rest of the front office.

Kevin Durant, James Harden
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

As of this weekend, Stein noted that the Rockets “remain hopeful” that they'll be able to meet with Durant in person some time in July. He also said that Houston is aware that, at the moment, they aren't in contention for Durant's services.

With Howard's assumed departure, the Rockets will have more than enough money to pay KD the max, which will be north of $25 million a season. Of course, with the NBA's salary cap set to rise, a number of other teams will be able to afford signing him as well.

If Durant does change his mind, it might have something to do with the proposition of playing with his good friend, and former teammate, James Harden.

In all likelihood, this meeting won't impact Durant's decision, but it can be taken as a sign that he's going to explore all of his options, even ones not currently on the table.

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