5 Players Who Could Complete Trio of Stars For Houston Rockets
5 Players Who Could Complete Trio of Stars For the Houston Rockets
Ever since the news broke that Dwight Howard would be joining the Houston Rockets as a free agent a week ago, the rumors have been rampant about the possibility that crafty general manager Daryl Morey wasn't done yet. With expendable and desirable parts such as starting center Omer Asik on the roster, there is definitely a market for him to make more additions.
As with all things Howard related, there are multiple rumors and speculative reports floating around. Some say that he inquired during his free agent meeting with Houston about the possibility of bringing in a third star player to team with himself and James Harden. Howard has refuted those reports and they do seem a little hard to imagine. But ever since “The Decision,” that seems to be the direction many think a team must go in order to build a championship contender.
I’m in the camp that believes Morey would rather round out his roster with very good complimentary players and shooters as opposed to handcuffing the team to three big salaries and little else to work with. But what if Morey has a plan to add a third big time player to the roster? Here are five guys I could see him having eyes for.
Regardless of what Danny Ainge is saying publicly, the Boston Celtics are rebuilding. Moving two guys like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce for future draft picks is a good implication of that as well as is bringing in a rookie head coach. So stories about how Rajon Rondo is okay with sticking around for a rebuild should be taken with a huge grain of salt.
Coming off of a major injury that has him sidelined for the beginning of the season makes this one an outside shot in a Morey trade. This would seem more of a deadline move if Rondo hasn't already been traded elsewhere. It's also unlikely that Boston would be willing to take on the salary of Jeremy Lin or Omer Asik if they're truly rebuilding and looking to create cap space. However, they're sorely lacking a starter in the middle at the moment.
If Morey was truly after Rondo, he'd be wise to seek the help of head coach Kevin McHale to give Ainge a call and remind him of the solid he did for him in the Garnett trade a few years back.
LaMarcus Aldridge seems to be the one name that just will not die among Rockets fans. They have wanted this guy since he played at the University of Texas and it's easy to see why. Aldridge is the type of forward you could put next to Howard and form the most dominant front court in the NBA.
His ability to shoot the 15 footer could help space the floor and create serious mismatches. In this offense, spacing is key for all the shooters Morey is bringing in.
But what are the chances the Portland Trailblazers are looking to move him? The trade demand he supposedly requested was refuted by Aldridge personally and with the trade bringing Robin Lopez to Portland, it's hard to see them trading him for the likes of Asik.
This is a hard one to make the salary line up on no matter how much sense it makes for him in Houston.
I know if any Atlanta Hawks fan would read this, they'd be scoffing right now. Al Horford is their best player on a team-friendly contract and with the franchise rebuilding, there seems to be no bigger piece than him. But after adding Paul Millsap and courting Andrew Bynum, it would seem Danny Ferry would at least listen to offers.
Horford has played out of position since entering the NBA and a return to his natural position next to Howard is the thing fans of the 1980's NBA dream of. A bruiser like Horford with Howard protecting the rim behind him is a flashing neon sign that says stay out of the paint.
The Hawks and Rockets talked sign-and-trade over Josh Smith, but nothing materialized. With Bynum choosing to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, one has to wonder if the interest in Asik is still there. It'd be tough to imagine them taking on both him and Lin to make it happen, but they have a glaring need at point if they don't match the free agent offer on Jeff Teague.
There would have to be some draft-pick sweeteners thrown in to get this one even considered, but I think there is a greater chance for it than most believe.
Ricky Rubio or Kevin Love
Even though I'd put either of these guys at close to a zero-percent chance of ever being a Rocket in 2013, it has to be brought up. Morey has long had a crush on both players and the connection of McHale with Kevin Love makes a ton of sense on paper. But it just doesn't make sense in the math.
I've long thought that Morey was waiting to see what happens with the Minnesota Timberwolves free agent situation on Nikola Pekovic before he makes any moves on Asik. If he signs elsewhere, perhaps they would open the door to listen to offers for Love. Even though rumors of the team coming to an extension agreement were close last week, nothing solid has broke yet. Still, even if they lose Pekovic, it's next to impossible to make the money match for a Love swap without both Lin and Asik being involved.
This brings me to Ricky Rubio. Morey has been singing the praises of him since before he even came over to the NBA. But would the franchise be ready to move on from such a young and promising player? It's hard to imagine, but something has to give on the Rubio/Love front. It's not impossible for either of them to don Houston red next year, but it's more likely that Loch Ness is proven to be real by opening night.
Yes, that's right. What if that third guy is already on the roster? Already sporting the best contract for value in the NBA, Chandler Parsons is not only the longest tenured player on the team, but he's also one of the best. He's a great defender, good shooter and has excellent vision.
Parsons was instrumental in recruiting Howard to Houston and upper management loves him. Under a general manager who says he is "always looking to upgrade the team," he is up there with Howard and Harden as the only untouchable players on the roster.
Parsons made a big leap last season and finding himself wide open all season with two guys who demand a double team next to him, expect a big year before an inevitable contract extension.
Houston already has a pretty strong trio of guys right now. Anything else is just gravy.