Rockets caravan will meet up with GM

HOUSTON -- The Houston Rockets have come up with a unique pitch to lure the big-name free agents hitting the market this week.

General manager Daryl Morey sent off a caravan of Rockets fans in pickup trucks from the Toyota Center on Monday for a road trip expected to end in the city where Morey will meet with one of Houston's primary free agent targets.

The fans, taken from a group of season ticket holders called the Red Rowdies, will begin their journey in Hope, Ark., an aptly named starting point reflecting the Rockets' mission once free agency opens on Thursday. The plan is for the caravan to meet up with Morey in an undisclosed city, then deliver him to a meeting with one of Houston's big free agent targets.

The caravan idea sprouted from thousands of ideas submitted from fans via e-mail to the team. Morey asked Rockets fans via Twitter to submit their suggestions for free agency recruitment in a quest to find unique recruiting tactics.

"We have such great fans in Houston, and we wanted to bring that passion and energy to our initial free agent meeting," Morey said. "We are always looking for ways to engage our fans. The inspiration for this caravan came directly from their creative spirit."

Team spokesman Nelson Luis said the Rockets got NBA approval for the caravan.