Around the NBA: Rockets building super team, Celtics have an unexpected target

By: Jesse Larch, Sports Talk Philly Staff

The NBA offseason has been red hot ever since the Sixers swapped first round picks with the Boston Celtics. We covered a lot of the craziness yesterday, but since then even more has happened across the league. 

Related:  Around the NBA: GM Griffin leaves Cavs, Knicks 'not ruling out' Porzingis trade

In this edition of "Around the NBA" we will look at the Celtics rumored target at third overall, The Los Angeles Lakers' latest move, the Houston Rockets' offseason plan, and more.

Celtics drafting a wing, but not the one you think: With the third overall pick acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics select — Jayson Tatum? After reports that multiple executives across the league believed that Celtics' general manager Danny Ainge was in love with Kansas's Josh Jackson, and planned on taking him first overall, we might be getting a curveball according to ESPN's Chad Ford:

When Ainge said in a press conference following the trade announcement with the Sixers that "there is a good chance the player we take at No. 3 will be the exact player we would have taken at No. 1." When Ainge made these comments, and they were coupled with the aforementioned report, the consensus was that the Celtics were eyeing Jackson at third overall. While they have not met with Josh Jackson, they did meet with Jayson Tatum, and Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated reported that Celtics' head coach Brad Stevens loves Tatum's athleticism that allows him to defend multiple positions to go with his mature mid-range game. 

Greg Monroe staying with Milawukee: Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe has opted to exercise his player option for next season reports Shams Charania of The Vertical. The option will reward Monroe with $17.88 million in 2017-18. The 27-year-old averaged 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in a little over 22 minutes per game last season. 

The Lakers are open for business: Following reports yesterday that the Lakers were trying to trade De'Angelo Russell for a first round pick, they have done just that, moving the former second overall pick and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for veteran center Brook Lopez and the 27th overall selection in tomorrow's draft. The Lakers were not done there, however:

Fortunately for the Sixers (who keep the Lakers first round pick next year if it lands first overall), this reported deal was declined by Sacramento. The Lakers will be a team to keep an eye on as the offseason progresses. 

Dwight Howard on the move again: Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the one-time Superman of the NBA will be playing for his third team in three seasons, as his hometown Atlanta Hawks traded him and the 31st overall selection to the Charlotte Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belenelli, and the 41st overall pick. 

The Houston Rockets are going all-in: The Rockets are contemplating offering a contract extension to their MVP candidate James Harden. The bigger news is who else they intend to give contracts to:

The Rockets are targeting the biggest names in this year's free agent class. Chris Paul is expected to be leaving the Los Angeles Clippers, while his teammate Blake Griffin's situation is not as clear, but there is some speculation that he is interested in the Boston Celtics after complimenting the city and following Isaiah Thomas in Instagram. Kyle Lowry used to play in Houston and he does not intend on returning to the Toronto Raptors, while a report has surfaced that the Atlanta Hawks are looking to pull off a sign and trade involving their all-star power forward Paul Millsap.

The Rockets have two point guards and two power fowards on this list, showing which positions they intend on upgrading. They have been shopping Patrick Beverley and Ryan Anderson, their current point guard and power foward. 

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