On the eve of what promises to be one of the more interesting free agency periods in recent memory, the Rockets have made plans for a meeting with Carmelo Anthony on July 2nd, the second day of free agency. The Bulls will meet with Anthony first, with him then going to Houston and Dallas on Wednesday, before meeting with the Lakers at a later time to be determined.
The Rockets also will likely meet with LeBron James' agent, Rich Paul early in the week as LeBron is letting him handle early negotiations.
Though it certainly doesn't hurt to be the first team to meet with a free agent, it's worth noting that the importance of the Bulls' getting the meeting on Tuesday might be overstated. As Ben DuBose notes, the Bulls and Nets got the first meetings, respectively, with Chris Bosh and LeBron James in 2010 before the duo ended up in Miami together. The Rockets did get the first meeting in 2014 with Dwight Howard, and Howard seemed to be swayed from the start to go to Houston so there may be some advantage in it.
The Bulls are the frontrunners as of now, but with Derrick Rose's long term future up in the air and the guard reportedly unwilling to help recruit free agents, the Rockets are definitely in the race. They may have to fend off a number of suitors, but I would not be shocked to see Daryl Morey standing at the finish line with Carmelo Anthony when this is all said and done. It's going to be a long few weeks, but the Rockets have a lot of options on the table.