Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Good?
The Rockets have a meeting set up with free agent PF/C Al Horford. The bad news as you might have guessed from the headline, the Rockets do not have meetings with free agent point guard Mike Conley and wing Nicolas Batum.
Mike Conley will not meet with the Rockets according to a source.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) June 30, 2016
Source tells @MarcJSpearsESPN that Nic Batum will meet with Hornets and Mavs in Dallas and will talk to Knicks, Lakers, Wizards on phone.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 30, 2016
No bueno. Like Horford, Conley and Batum are in the upper echelon of players the Rockets could be targeting. All three players are a bit of pipe dream for the Rockets. But if Houston isn't able to nail down the any of these top 15 free agents, the thought of contending at a 2014-15 season would be farfetched.
Batum, 27, posted 14.9 points, 5.8 assists, and 6.1 rebounds last season with the Hornets. Conley, 28, accounted for 15.3 points, 6.1 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in his ninth season with the Grizzles.
Both players would fit nicely on the Rockets' roster: Batum is a do-it-all wing who shoots better from deep than Trevor Ariza, plus his ball-handling and passing would be second only to James Harden on the roster. Conley would be a perennial All-Star if he had played in the Eastern Conference, and he's earned a reputation as a top-notch game manager and point guard defender.
The list of players the Rockets could get after Horford, Conley and Batum is pretty underwhelming. Let's hope the Rockets can find their way onto their day planners before they sign a deal. Missing on free agents is one thing. Not getting meetings with them — ditto Kevin Durant — is another, far more depressing thing.