Sports | March 20, 2018 10:24 am

Here’s How LeBron James Could End Up With the Houston Rockets

Hint: It would involve the Cleveland Cavaliers agreeing to trade their franchise player.

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LeBron James (Jack Arent/NBAE via Getty Images)

If they want to bring LeBron James to town, the Houston Rockets have a problem.

For James to land in Houston, the Rockets would likely need the Cleveland Cavaliers to help facilitate their franchise cornerstone leaving town, an action which would be roundly criticized and unpopular with their fanbase.

Due to the nuances and restrictions of the NBA salary cap, Houston would never be able to free up enough space to sign James outright as well as keep impending free agents Chris Paul and Clint Capela. And, without those players in Houston, James would have less reason to sign with the Rockets.

Therefore a trade with Cleveland, which would involve James opting in to his 35.6 million player option with the Cavaliers for 2018-19 before the deal, is really the only option, albeit an unrealistic one.

Or is it? After all, Cleveland did trade James once before when he made it clear he was going to leave the team for the Miami Heat as a free agent. In that instance, Cleveland opted to recoup some assets from Miami by working out a deal for James instead of letting him leave for nothing.

Long story short: To get James to Houston, the Rockets will need to get Cleveland to play ball, which doesn’t seem likely. However, we’re saying there’s a chance …