Legit threat or not, the Houston Rockets will be coming hard at LeBron James next summer. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has shown in the past that he could pull off blockbuster moves on the trading front (Chris Paul) and free agency market (Dwight Howard), no matter how complicated the process was to complete the transactions.

Acquiring James won’t be different at all. The Rockets are believed to have a strong desire to acquire the service of the four-time NBA MVP, but they don’t currently have the cap flexibility to sign him on a max deal without losing key pieces.

Houston’s payroll for next season is projected at $85 million, with point guard Chris Paul, center Clint Capela, and forward Trevor Ariza all eligible to become free agents.

Locking up Paul to a long-term contract is a no brainer for the Rockets. The problem is how the Rockets would meet LeBron James’ big-money asking price. It’s almost guaranteed LeBron won’t receive a full max if he happens to pick Houston next year. As great of a player James is, financial sacrifices have to be made to form a power trio (James, Paul and James Harden) that would rival the Golden State Warriors on paper

The facilitating Kings

In order to create enough wiggle room for James, the Rockets would have to find a taker for Ryan Anderson’s hefty contract (2 years and $41 million left after this season), without taking salaries in return.

NBA scribe Jonathan Tjarks of the Ringer thinks the Sacramento Kings could facilitate a salary dump move for Anderson, provided the Rockets are willing to throw in an additional first round pick.

“Sacramento has the cap space ($20 million cap space) to take Anderson’s contract without sending anything back. Attach a future first-round pick and they should be interested,” Tjarks stressed.

At $20 million per year, Anderson’s contract sure is overpriced. However, acquiring a floor stretcher who can create driving lanes for point guard De’Aaron Fox along with a future first-rounder is a competitive haul for a rebuilding team like Sacramento.

Teaming up with bona fide stud

There’s a reason why the Los Angeles Lakers are viewed by many NBA followers as prime destinations for LeBron James.

Aside from the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles, the Lakers have the ability to create cap space for two max players. According to NBA insiders, the purple-and-gold franchise has legit shot at acquiring both LeBron James and Paul George in one summer. James’ fondness of potentially playing with George isn’t a secret at all. As a matter of fact, LeBron aggressively recruited George before the All-Star wingman was dealt to Oklahoma, per Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

The Lakers can make LeBron’s dream team-up with George a reality next season. They can sign both players to a full max deal and surround the two veteran All-Stars with young talents (Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram) to compete for championships in the next 2 or three years.