The Houston Rockets quickly established themselves last season as a team to look out for in the future of the NBA. With a core of young and talented players, they were able to make the playoffs as an eight seed and were also able to take the Russell Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder to six games.
Now the Rockets have added even more talent this off-season when they signed the biggest-named free-agent on the market in Dwight Howard. With Howard, James Harden and the rest of the supporting cast, this Rockets team seems poised to compete in the Western Conference.
One piece of the supporting cast that emerged as a huge part of the Rockets last year was forward Chandler Parsons. Parsons started all 76 games that he played in his sophomore season and averaged 15.5 points, 3.5 assists, one steal and 5.3 rebounds on 48.6 percent shooting and 38.5 percent three-point shooting. He emerged as a real deep-threat with his shooting ability and showed his great ability when it comes to running the forward.
As he comes into his third season with the addition of Howard, one has to wonder how Howard joining the team is going to affect his development. Howard is obviously going to take away some of the possessions that went Parsons’ way last year, which may make it seem like Howard will negatively have an impact on Parsons. That may not be the case.
Though Howard is obviously going to demand the ball in the Rockets’ offense, he’s also going to open up the perimeter more. Defenses are going to be more likely to collapse on Howard, leaving shooters on the wings like Parsons more open looks from long-range. If Howard becomes a more willing passer, Parsons may not only maintain a high level of production, but he may also improve.