The Houston Rockets were one of the most exciting teams in the NBA this past season, but also one of the most enigmatic. Led by stars James Harden and Dwight Howard, the Rockets were maddeningly inconsistent all the way up until they were eliminated in the postseason. It seemed clear that the front office’s belief that they needed a third star was pretty spot on and a goal for the franchise to strive for in the near future.
As some of the biggest stars in the league started to opt out and enter free agency this summer, though, the Rockets’ eyes started widening. Most notably, Houston has been high on the possibility of adding Carmelo Anthony. The two parties have already met since July 1 and the Rockets seemed like one of the more likely candidates to sign the All-Star forward.
However, as things have started to take a clearer form over the past 24 hour regarding Anthony’s free agency, it seems like Houston is going to be left on the outside looking in. Ever the strategist, general manager Daryl Morey already has a backup plan in mind if Houston does indeed miss out on signing Carmelo.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Rockets are poised to try and convince veteran big man Chris Bosh to not return to Miami and come to Houston. The Rockets have reportedly told Bosh and his people that they are “huge fans” of his. Stein also says that the Rockets would have possibly had Bosh atop their list of free agent targets if they felt like they had a chance of inking him to a deal from the start. In addition, the recent disgruntled talk coming from the Heat has the Rockets smelling blood and possibly looking to make a push to try and sign Bosh.
In actuality, Bosh is a much more natural fit in Houston than Melo. While Anthony is a tremendously talented offensive player with talents exceeding Bosh’s, he’s also a ball-dominant player who could have a hard time coexisting with Harden and Howard. Meanwhile, Bosh is able to adapt and contribute without being a ball-dominant player. Bosh also offers value on the defensive end of the floor for the Rockets, something that can’t be said of Anthony.
The Rockets saw flashes of quality play from Terrence Jones this past season as a versatile stretch four who can open up their offense. However, Jones’ defensive shortcomings essentially negated his offensive impact. Bosh is a player who can offer the Rockets the same versatility offensively at the position, but can also help anchor the interior defensively with Dwight.
The future of Bosh and the rest of the Big Three seems as uncertain as ever now as they come to a collective realization that the Heat might not be able to put a good enough supporting cast around them. As a result, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Bosh could sign elsewhere. If that’s the case, the Rockets could emerge as the frontrunners to make a deal with the veteran happen.