With the Houston Rockets fading in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, they have turned their attention to another free agent All-Star: Chris Bosh.
The Rockets offered Bosh a four-year, maximum-salary contract on Monday to join up with fellow All-Stars James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston to form their own Big 3. Even though Bosh may want to stay with the Miami Heat, the Rockets’ system could be a very good fit for the nine-time All-Star.
The speculation of Bosh possibly leaving South Beach for Houston has grown out of the apparent lack of contact between Bosh and fellow teammate LeBron James during the free agency process. Bosh would ultimately like to stay in Miami, but James not being there could change Bosh’s feelings.
However, a move to Houston could be a good move for Bosh. First and foremost, Bosh is from Texas, so it would be an opportunity for him to return to his home state. Secondly, he would not only be on a championship contender with the Rockets, but he would also not have to take a pay cut in order to win. If Bosh chooses to stay in Miami, he will have little choice but to take a pay cut.
The move would be even better for the Rockets. Houston needs to improve defensively this summer above all, and Bosh could be part of that answer.
Looking back at Houston’s first-round exit from this year’s playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers, the difference was All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge’s matchup advantage over the smaller Terrence Jones at power forward. Bosh’s versatility and athleticism allow him to effectively guard different players both inside and outside the paint. Not only would he be able to guard a guy like Aldridge, but Bosh would be able to guard other big men who enjoy roaming outside the paint.
As a result, Houston’s defense could improve because it would allow Howard to stay where he does his most damage on defense: in the paint. Needless to say, the addition of Bosh would make Houston’s frontcourt one of the strongest in the NBA.
Offensively, Bosh would only add to Houston’s already-explosive offense. Because of that same athleticism and versatility on the defensive end, Bosh can serve as a power forward who can spread the floor and cause matchup nightmares for opposing defenses. Most importantly, Bosh’s ability to stretch the floor allows Howard to commandeer the paint and do what he does best offensively.
Howard could benefit greatly from adding Bosh to the team. Bosh’s ability to score in a variety of ways on the floor gives Houston another weapon for their multifaceted offense.
Bosh would also bring something to Houston that no one else there has experienced: winning. His experiences from winning two rings and playing in four Finals could serve as a catalyst for the Rockets and show them what it takes to be the best.
However, possibly the most important factor Bosh must consider is whether Houston or Miami gives him the best chance to win. Yes, the Rockets would have one terrific roster, but let’s not forget that Houston plays in the rugged Western Conference. Even though Miami may not look as tantalizing as Houston does right now, Bosh’s chances of winning are significantly better with the Heat simply because the Eastern Conference is much weaker.
In order for Houston to bring on Bosh, the Rockets would need to trade away Jeremy Lin‘s enormous contract to clear more cap space. Frankly, I think Bosh is a much better fit in Houston than Anthony because of what he provides defensively. Ultimately, I believe that Bosh will return to Miami with James and Dwyane Wade, but the Rockets provide Bosh with an excellent opportunity to contend for a championship and earn a max contract.
That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.