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James Harden and the Rockets are meeting with Kent Bazemore at midnight


Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

At midnight, the second free agency began, the Rockets are not meeting with Mike Conley, Al Horford or Kevin Durant. They are meeting with Kent Bazemore. The same player who told everyone he wasn't taking any meetings until after July 4 — and whose birthday started right at midnight — is in a room with James Harden, Mike D'Antoni and Daryl Morey as I type.

This is fantastic news. Bazemore is young, energetic, has a terrific personality, and, most importantly, is a great defender, a great athlete and has an emerging three-point shot.

Horford is reportedly meeting with the Rockets during normal human hours. Mike Conley is reportedly pondering a Rockets meeting, per Calvin Watkins. But Bazemore is the kind of player the Rockets need to also get around James Harden: someone who is a catalyst for everything a modern, winning NBA team is.

Good luck, team. Bring home the Baze-on.

UPDATE: As soon as I typed that horrible, horrible pun, Zach Lowe tweeted this:

If that's what it takes to get Kent Bazemore in this environment, that's pretty chilling. But considering the Rockets have $46 million in cap room and they could still pair a max contract with that $19-20 million deal? That could still work. And Bazemore really is a legendary locker room presence at this point — he famously convinced Stephen Curry to sign with Under Armour — so this could be domino one in the package to entice Al Horford. Stay tuned.

UPDATE AT 9:50 A.M.:

Chances are, this contingent is in Atlanta anyway to meet with Horford. But, as stated above, a package of Bazemore and Horford would be incredible, considering the Rockets couldn't even get a meeting with Kevin Durant.