Daryl Morey's master plan may be coming together after all.
According to a CBS report, free agent center Dwight Howard is no lock to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers and is most intrigued by playing in Houston, where All-Star guard James Harden led the league's youngest team to the playoffs, where it was eliminated in six games by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"With six weeks to go before Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent, the team that is said to intrigue him the most is the Houston Rockets, according to multiple people briefed on internal conversations surrounding Howard's free-agent decision," CBS reported. "The Rockets have a young star, James Harden, who has proved himself worthy of playing the leading role for the franchise; a budding 3-point shooting threat in Chandler Parsons; a defensive-minded coach in Kevin McHale; and Omer Asik, the kind of 7-footer Howard is believed to want next to him in the frontcourt."
If this is true, it gets the Rockets' roster as close to a championship contender as they have been in Morey's six seasons as general manager. The Rockets aggressively pursued a trade for Howard last season, but at the time had a bit of a motley crew for a roster, one that didn't include Harden (or, for that matter, Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin).
With Lin, Harden and professional pest Patrick Beverly, Houston is strong in the backcourt. With Asik, it has one of the league's best interior defenders and in Chandler Parsons it has a versatile small forward who is grossly underpaid. The Rockets' biggest weakness in 2012-13, when they were the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, was a lack of reliable scoring on the block.
That is the LAST team I want to see Dwight go to. They pretty much become title contenders if Dwight signs there. Ugh
Would of been cool to see him on the nets
Yeah it would be cool to see him on the nets but theres pretty much no way it will happen unfortunately. Idk why dwight wants to play next to a 7'0 so bad considering this success in Orlando with Ryan Anderson and more-so Rashard Lewis compared to his success with Gasol. He clearly needs someone who can stretch the court. I would go as far as saying that Houston would be a good fit for Dwight because they could start Parsons at the 4. But having McHale coach him would be good. Rockets have some weird salaries to work with tho, he'll probably just stay in LA unless he gets signed and traded somewhere.
The Rockets would be the smartest place for Howard to sign. He'd get easy buckets in transition and off the pick-and-roll, forming a pretty dynamic duo with Harden, and the Rockets would be really good with him. He really seems like the ideal piece to push them into title contention. They are already a very dangerous offensive team, and the addition of an interior threat would only enhance their offense, and Howard could help get their defense up to snuff. Him and Asik together could be very good and they would ensure that the Rockets could have a rim protector on the floor at all times.
I must say I really hope he signs with the Rockets to give the West a new contender and a really fun team to watch.
Well that is very interesting.... As much as I detest Howard, that is one of the best "fits" for a free agent I have seen in many years. Are you telling me they would be able to keep Parsons along with Harden AND Asik????!!!!! That would be just filthy lethal and virtually unstoppable. Harden's penetration would get Howard 4 or five buckets a game alone, and the spacing provided by Howard would allow Parson's outside shooting to be even better, let alone the other perimeter players. Let's not even talk about interior defense. Opponent's only hope is that McHale is stupid enough to let Lin start again and so he can turn the ball over a gazillion times a game like usual. Man if this goes down, congrats to Houston and their fans.
I'm a Laker fan, but If I was Dwight I would go to H-town. He isnt serious and competitive enough to have a great career in LA. Dude need to go see the wizard of Oz and get some courage.
Truer words have never been spoken...
I've been eh on whether he returns or not. If he comes back good if not oh well. If he wants the most money though, he'll want to do a sign and trade in which case the lakers could demand Asik and parsons and another piece although they would probably have to take back lins overpriced contract.
While your point is technically true, i think it's clear the Dwight's main motivations (and I don't know what they are exactly lol) are absolutely NOT about money. If money was even a top 2 consideration, he would either still be in Orlando, or would have made a confirmed decision to stay either publicly or privately with the Lakers
I'm not understanding your reasoning. He signed the extra year with Orlando then immediately forced his way out instead of opting out for the 2012 offseason because he wanted that Max money instead of just leaving. He hasn't lost anyoney nor will he if he signs an extension with the lakers so staying in Orlando wouldn't have saved him any cash. And he doesn't have to make any commitment to la ahead of time. We won't know if he is about the cash until he actually leaves somewhere for less. But if he gets a sign and trade done, they will have not given up a penny in any of these moves.
If houston trades Lin and Asik, is there anyway they can get Josh Smith with Dwight?
I would too. Why sign on with that aged Lakers roster while they try to rebuild ? They aren't going anywhere with that old, slow lineup.
The real winner in the Howard/Bynum trade was actually - Orlando !
Houston would make sense from a basketball standpoint, Motiejunas is a decent outside shooter at 7 feet tall, Asik provides the dirty work (although I think Asik would be traded in a sign and trade) and Terrence Jones can also play a stretch 4 role in the NBA.
And hey, Olajuwon might take more of an interest in Dwight if he's a Rocket.
That said, I don't want this to happen. Screw Dwight, dude doesn't deserve to be on a contending team after the crap he's pulled these last two years.
Signing Howard doesn't guarantee anything. If this yr was any indication, he's not the type of franchise changing talent who immediately puts a team into contending status.
Hes a free agent this time and won't be throwing his team under a bus. Not the same situation
If Dwight needs a defensive big man next to him, then what the heck is Dwight supposed to be? He is not a pick and pop guy. He doesn't fade out for 15 foot jumpers. He can't shoot free throws either.
If the Rockets can get Dwight without giving up Lin, Harden, Parsons, Asik, or Motie then I am cool with that. But, I wouldn't give up one of those other core guys for him.
Dwight with those guys would be good. But, that would essentially make him the fourth option on offense and the team's second best low post defender. Doesn't scream FRANCHISE GUY to me.
If I were him I would take a pay cut and find a way to get with those guys. That core plus Dwight Howard plus another solid veteran with the MLE would make the Rockets a contender.
I think a sign and trade would be the way to go. Dwight Howard goes to the Lakers, and the Lakers get Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Carlos Delfino, Greg Smith, the 34th pick, and two future first round picks. If I were LA I would also try to get rid of Steve Blake or Chris Duhon. They make too much money to be washed up backup point guards.
The Lakers take their lumps when Kobe is out, they can rest Pau (if they don't trade or amnesty him) and Nash. Then they try to make a run down the stretch or focus on 2015. If they can sign Pekovic this offseason then a Pek and Pau attack would be pretty tough. Then Kobe on the wing, and hopefully a healthy Nash for a veteran backcourt. With more depth.
I think the West will be wide open again next year. Westbrook will be coming off a major injury and the Clippers have things to deal with too. The Spurs might actually be the favorite going into next season, and the Grizzlies and Warriors will be good too.
The Lakers can be better next year without really making a home run this offseason. If they move Dwight Howard for those guys then they will get a little bit younger and deeper. Pek would be an ideal pickup for them as a scoring center to put next to Pau. Then maybe they can make a run at a solid combo guard off the bench like Jarrett Jack or Jerryd Bayless. Those guys plus a healthy Kobe, Nash, and Pau would be enough for them to make a solid run next year.
... Dwight and the Rockets could work if Dwight turns into a glorified Pick and Roll power forward. If he does that a lot, and works on a jump hook and quick spin move. He might be healthier next year anyway so he should be able to be more mobile. Then with Asik there, Dwight can focus on rebounding and offering weak side shot blocking help. Howard and Asik could give the Rockets something of a Twin Towers attack which could work given that they already have a potent guard attack and some other guys out on the wing.
Since Howard obviously did not grasp the moves Hakeem taught him maybe going to Houston is the one thing he actually absorbed/learned from Olajuwon?
You beat me to it Memphismadness, but if they do a sign and trade with the Lakers they'd have to involve Asik. It wouldn't make sense to be paying that much money for two centers and he would be a suitable frontcourt mate next to Pau.
I don't want to see them land Dwight Howard. The guy is going to be paid a lot more than he's going to be worth. He's not the player he used to be, plain and simple. Sure, he's a good C/PF option, and he would make Houston a contender...but I'm convinced there are better ways to spend money than this guy. He seems to me to be more like the kind of mistake the Knicks love to make.
Please no please, as a Rockets fan, sort of, I don't want cry baby, attention seeker, Dwight. Asik is really fitting the squad right now and Rockets should back him up with a youngster big and look for a solid 4 without losing Parsons
Outline of financial situation, market, familiarity, core already in place, and history of the Lakers and Rockets.
Los Angeles Lakers
1) Can offer one more year and more guaranteed money than Houston
2) Larger market team, more scrutiny, but more profitability longterm
3) Familiar with Los Angeles after playing and living there for a year
4) The Lakers will be "Dwight's Team" once Kobe retires, already familiar with coaching staff and teammates
5) History of winning and history of building around core pieces (unlike Orlando)
1) Will still offer him a lot of money, but won't be able to match the Lakers' offer
2) Houston is a smaller market team, and Dwight wants to rebuild his image
3) Unfamiliar with Houston coaches and majority of players, although he wants out of D'Antoni's system
4) Houston has James Harden who is a 23 year old Olympian and star in the making
5) Haven't had much success since T-Mac and Yao days (2009 only year they won playoff series in past 16 years)
To me, I think the Lakers only get Dwight back if they give him the max deal and more importantly, fire D'Antoni. At this point, Dwight wants to get paid, which both teams will gladly do, but I think he really wants to restore his image and win a ring. It's hard to tell which team offers the better opportunity to restore his image as his image will be better when the Lakers win, but in Houston he wouldn't be under as heavy an attack during a slump. Plus the Lakers are arguably the top destination for free agents, so they will be able to rebuild once they clear some cap space, while the Rockets wouldn't have to wait to rebuild if Dwight signed with them.
If I were Dwight, I'd return to LA. If you want to restore your image, restore it in the city where you lost it. By going to Houston, it shows that he's not up to the challenge of turning a franchise around. Plus, if he was 100% this year, I'm sure the Lakers would have had a better season. But as long as D'Antoni is around, I have a hard time believing that Dwight will stick around in LA.
Best option would be Atlanta and trying to convince Chris Paul go with him.