3. Houston Rockets
Prepare yourselves for a controversial hot take. The Houston Rockets would be a better team with Kawhi Leonard next season than LeBron James. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t chase both, but Leonard is simply a better fit with the personnel they’d likely be able to retain.
Chris Paul and James Harden give the Rockets two of the best ball handlers in the NBA. They don’t really need a third guy to come in and split up the workload. The fact that Leonard can get plenty of points without dribbling the ball would do a lot to diversify Mike D’Antoni’s attack.
Leonard is also one of the best defensive wings in the league. He’s an ideal player to match up with all of the scoring guards/wings that Golden State can throw out at the Rockets. He would immediately be expected to slow down Kevin Durant if the two met again in a playoff series. In fact, Leonard might be a good enough defender to tip the scales in Houston’s favor.
Similar to what it would take to sign LeBron, the Rockets would need to gut their roster to bring in Leonard. Even so, starting off with a quartet of Paul, Harden, Leonard and Clint Capela would be a terrific foundation for Daryl Morey. Houston wouldn’t have any trouble finding veteran ring chasers to fill out the roster. Getting Leonard could make Houston the favorite in the Western Conference next season.