On Tuesday, the Rockets held an introductory press conference for new owner Tilman Fertitta.
He made it pretty clear what he expects from his team this season.
"To walk into this situation with James Harden and Chris Paul is unbelievable. You've got to remember the name of the game is to get to the playoffs, and this is a superstar league. You are not going to get to the playoffs every year and likely make it to the second round if you don't have a James Harden playing for you.
"You add a guy like Chris Paul, and you should get to the Western Conference Finals."
In 2015, Houston advanced to the West Finals -- losing to the Warriors in five games.
[RELATED: Rockets coach D'Antoni: Warriors 'not gonna stop us either']
Last year, the Rockets went 55-27 and finished in third place in the West.
They eventually lost to the Spurs in six games in the West Semis.
When you add a guy like Paul, the expectations rise substantially.
"That's the way the league's going is two or three stars per team," Fertitta added. "And you know what? If we don't get where we need to be this year with two superstars ... we're going to make good decisions, and we're going to do whatever it takes to win.
"I can promise you that."
No pressure Rockets.
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller
Could Jimmy Butler go home to Houston?
Apparently, the Rockets are interested in trying to make it happen, though we're not sure how the numbers would work out.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets, Nets, Pistons, Clippers, Heat, 76ers and Blazers are "interested in talking further with Minnesota" about trying to acquire the four-time All-Star. The Cavs are also interested acquiring Butler, according to Woj.
Houston has a problem, though. They are already $11.444 million over the luxury cap threshold. Butler is set to make $20.445 million in 2018-19 and $19.841 million in 2019-20, so the Rockets would have to do salary cap gymnastics to make a deal work.
On Friday, GM Daryl Morey told The Houston Chronicle that the Rockets are "doing what we can to prepare for" the Warriors.
Acquiring Butler would certainly fit that messaging.
Grass is green, the sky is blue, and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is still obsessed with knocking off the Warriors.
Morey admitted as much in an interview with the Houston Chronicle, telling the paper that "a very high percentage" of the Rockets' decisions this offseason are made with one thing on their mind:
Same as last year, it's very likely to win the title we're going to have to beat the Warriors at some point. We're doing what we can to prepare for them. To me, that's what any rational person would do. I'm intrigued by some thinking it's odd that we say that. Maybe because it's not a norm. Ask any fan, 'Who do you have to beat to win the title?' They're going to say 'the Warriors.' It seems like [general manager] speak or coachspeak to not say that.
Morey told anybody who would ask last season that the Rockets were single-mindedly obsessed with beating the Warriors in the playoffs. Houston came close last season, jumping out to a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals, before Golden State stormed back to win the final two games in Rockets star Chris Paul's injury absence.
Morey responded with a substantial makeover of his roster. Defensive stoppers Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza are gone, while Carmelo Anthony, Michael Carter-Williams, Marquese Chriss, James Ennis and Brandon Knight are in. The Rockets were one of the West's best defensive teams last season, and Morey expects the team to withstand the loss of Ariza and Mbah a Moute.
"We can be [as strong defensively]," Morey told the Chronicle. "They were both extremely good defenders. So it will be a challenge. That was a big part of our meeting. [Assistant coach Roy Rogers] was walking through what changes and how excited he was with what he was planning to do and the personnel we have to be better than last year."
Morey -- as well as the Warriors -- will get a first look at whether or not Houston's offseason was successful on Nov. 17, when the Rockets host the defending NBA champions.