When it comes to this time of year in the NBA, every team has a Plan B. And a Plan C. And, if they're doing it the way it should be done, enough contingency plans from there to fill out the alphabet at least a few times.

If free agent-to-be Kyle Lowry doesn't wind up re-signing with the Toronto Raptors, the point guard is in a prime position to be some team's high-priced backup plan.

With free agency looming on July 1 and so much focus on LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, players like Lowry are watching these story lines of the stars even more closely than the rest of us because of what it means for their own situations. Lowry is the unofficial poster boy of this group, a nine-year veteran who in 2010 started playing his best ball and who will have no shortage of interest once James and the other stars decided what they're going to do.

It's not inconceivable that Lowry could wind up playing with James if he re-ups with the Miami Heat, but the economics in that equation would make it extremely challenging. The more likely scenario, by far, involves Lowry getting paid handsomely by a team that wasn't able to convince the four-time MVP to come its way.

According to two people with knowledge of the situation, the Houston Rockets — whom Lowry played for from 2009 to 2012 — are one of those teams. While Rockets general manager Daryl Morey will woo free agents like James, Anthony and Heat center Chris Bosh (if he opts out of his deal), he also will pursue Lowry if those initial options are no longer in play. It would be quite the full-circle kind of story, as the Rockets' decision to trade Lowry to the Raptors in July 2012 played a vital part in their eventual acquisition of shooting guard James Harden just a few months later (the Oklahoma City Thunder received the lottery-protected first-round pick Houston had received from Toronto in that Oct. 2012 deal). The Los Angeles Lakers, who also plan to pursue both James and Anthony, are also known to be on Lowry's short list of prospective landing spots.