Many people around the NBA have to be wondering what the Houston Rockets are doing. This is a team that just barely missed out on making the playoffs in the final weeks of the season. But, they seem intent on blowing it up and starting over.
They have traded Kyle Lowry (understandable since he said he didn’t want to be there) for a first-round draft pick, but then they basically let Goran Dragic walk to Phoenix when they tendered him an offer. They gave Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin crazy back-loaded deals that pay them way too much in the third years: $15 million for Asik, and $14 million for Lin. They used the amnesty clause on Luis Scola, who has been a pretty solid and underrated power forward the last three seasons.
Now, the reason for all this is the possible acquisition of Dwight Howard. But he would benefit from having a legit PF next to to him – if Houston were to actually get him. And if they do, it’s basically a rental situation. Howard has not said he would sign an extension or that he wants to play for the Rockets.
The Rockets could have used the amnesty on injury-prone Kevin Martin, who rarely suits up. Scola has several years left on his deal and Martin has just a year left and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
But let’s say the Rockets get Howard and Lin (if the Knicks don’t match). They have a Big 3 of Howard, Martin and Lin? Sure, they have an excellent center in Howard, but they have a shooting guard who has averaged 59 games in his eight-year career and a point guard in Lin who showed flashes but is still a work in progress. That’s not going to strike fear in any team, in my opinion, and they won’t be instant playoff contenders (more likely fighting for the 6-8 spots in the Western Conference.
And if they don’t get Howard? They are a lottery team. But, they would have traded their first-round picks (the offer is four first-rounders) and some nice young talent such as Jeremy Lamb, Royce White, and Terrence Jones.
If the Howard deal falls apart (and this is a strong possibility), the entire Rockets front office should be cleaned out. This is too big of a gamble to just stink it up for the next 2-3 years and be an expansion-type team. People will need to be held accountable. Michael Jordan had a borderline playoff team in Charlotte with Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson when he traded them both and decided to get draft picks.
Basically, robbing the fans of their hard earned money.
Darren Jacks is a regular contributor to OneManFastBreak.net. Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.