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Report: Brooks, Reaves among Rockets' top offseason targets

Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Houston Rockets intend to make a splash in free agency.

Houston is preparing to court several big-name players once they become unrestricted free agents this offseason, including Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez and Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks, sources told The Athletic's Kelly Iko.

The Rockets will also reportedly attempt to add restricted free agents such as Brooklyn Nets forward Cameron Johnson and Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves.

New of the Rockets' plans follows widespread reports of their intention to pursue Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden. Harden, who played his best basketball with Houston for eight-and-a-half seasons from 2012-21, is expected to decline a $35.6-million for next season in hopes of securing a long-term deal in free agency.

Brooks could be a straightforward target for the Rockets, who also own the No. 4 pick in this year's draft. The Grizzlies have reportedly told the forward they won't re-sign him under any circumstances after losing their second-round series to the Lakers, a matchup in which Brooks' taunts of LeBron James appeared to backfire.

Signing Lopez could prove more difficult for Houston. The 35-year-old's interior defense is highly valuable to the Bucks, who will look to remain contenders next season with Giannis Antetokounmpo and a new head coach.

The Nets and Lakers can match any offers for Johnson and Reaves, respectively. Reaves will be especially tough to pry from Los Angeles after he was frequently the team's third-best player behind James and Anthony Davis this postseason.

Houston is reportedly aiming to return to the playoffs in 2023-24 after assembling a young core headlined by 2021 No. 2 pick Jalen Green. The Rockets will have nearly $60 million in cap space this summer and already kicked off their offseason by replacing former head coach Stephen Silas with ex-Boston Celtics bench boss Ime Udoka.

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