After the Houston Rockets were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs yet again, we began hearing chatter that the Rockets were looking to blow it up and had everyone on the roster aside from James Harden up for trade.
That meant Chris Paul, Clint Capela, everyone.
While we haven’t seen or heard any indication that Houston was desperately looking to dump some of its players, you can understand why the Rockets would look to start fresh after failing year after year.
But with the Warriors’ dynasty seeming to come to an end on Thursday night, could Houston change its course and try to run it back for another shot at an elusive championship?
Let’s face it: the Dubs have been the main obstacle standing in the way of the Rockets the last several years. They have been bounced out of the playoffs by the Warriors in four of their last five playoff appearances, and last year, they blew a 3-2 Western Conference Finals lead over Golden State, a lead some feel the Rockets would not have relinquished had Paul not gotten injured in Game 5.
Now, with the Warriors entering an offseason full of uncertainty, Houston can see this as an opportunity to pounce.
Even if the Dubs re-sign both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, neither player will be around much next year, as Durant will likely miss all of next season as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles and Thompson will be sidelined for quite some time after tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the finals on Thursday evening.
That would leave the Warriors with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and, well, not much else. Maybe they re-sign DeMarcus Cousins, but even then, Golden State would be nothing more than just a solid ballclub.
In turn, that would blow the door wide open for a Rockets team that won 65 games in 2018 and had the Warriors locked in a 2-2 tie in the second round of the playoffs last month.
Right now, the Western Conference is ripe for the taking, and while the Los Angeles Clippers might land Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Lakers could potentially trade for Anthony Davis, Houston will have a chance with no Golden State in the picture.
I would not have said this a couple of weeks ago, but now, with everything the Dubs are dealing with and all of the questions surrounding the team heading into this summer, the Rockets may have found new life.
Now, I will say that Houston still needs a change in philosophy, as the Rockets can’t just expect to win a title by bombing away from three-point range and praying that the shots fall.
The roster still needs some tweaks, and with no cap space, that will be tough for Daryl Morey and Co. to achieve, but there is more than enough talent on this Rockets club to at least be a formidable team next season, and with the Warriors declining and the rest of the West in flux, Houston may actually have a golden opportunity at its doorstep.