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Rockets, without a draft pick, prepare for free agency

June 21, 2019
FILE - In this April 17, 2019, file photo, Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives against Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale (23) during the first half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Houston. Giannis Antetokuonmpo may have helped his team win 60 games and earn the No. 1 seed in the NBA during the regular season. That’s just in the real world, though. In fantasy sports, James Harden was the biggest winner, registering the most points over the 2018-19 season to claim NBA Most Valuable Player honors from DraftKings. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
FILE - In this April 17, 2019, file photo, Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives against Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale (23) during the first half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Houston. Giannis Antetokuonmpo may have helped his team win 60 games and earn the No. 1 seed in the NBA during the regular season. That’s just in the real world, though. In fantasy sports, James Harden was the biggest winner, registering the most points over the 2018-19 season to claim NBA Most Valuable Player honors from DraftKings. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets didn’t have a pick in Thursday night’s draft after past trades sent their first-round pick to Cleveland and their pick in the second round to New York.

After a quiet draft night, the Rockets may be much more active as free agency looms on July 1. The Rockets are looking to improve a team led by James Harden that has been eliminated in the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors four times in five season, including this year’s Western Conference semifinals.

All of Houston’s biggest stars remain under contract for several more years, but they have decisions to make about role player free agents including Gerald Green, Iman Shumpert, Kenneth Faried, Austin Rivers and Nene.

Veteran point guard Chris Paul is now 34, but any trade will likely be a tough sell since he has three years remaining on a $160 million contract he signed before last season.

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