The Dwight Howard circus has lasted over two seasons, it has traveled from the Magic Kingdom to Hollywood, with rumored stops at the Golden Gate Bridge, Hotlanta (do they still call it that), and of course the Texas two step. Howard tweeted on friday night that his final landing spot would indeed be Space City, Houston Texas. That’s right, the Rockets are relevant again, at least for the offseason. Dwight Howard joins a long list of great big men on the Rockets, Moses Malone, Ralph Sampson, Akeem Olajuawon, and Yao Ming. The Houston Rockets landed the biggest free agent since Lebron James, and now have added two of the best players in the world the last two seasons. Make no mistake, the Rockets want to win
Dwight Howard took notice, saying the Rockets give him the best chance at winning an NBA title. Who’d a thought that the Rockets would be a better option than the LA Lakers. “I just looked at both teams and I felt like Houston was going in one direction–they got a lot of young players, they got a good coach in Kevin Mchale and I just felt like having him as a coach, he could really help me in the post and help me develop like I want to. That was mainly the big reason right there, and having the opportunity to grow with a team, a young team, like the Rockets. That’s the reason I decided to leave.”
With Dwight and Harden, the Rockets have a classic inside out game that could put them towards the top of the western conference. Time will tell if the Rockets do in fact compete with the Thunder and Spurs, but the Rockets sure are trying too.
The Houston Rockets took their best shot at Howard on Sunday night, or Monday morning as free agency kicks off. General Manager Daryl Morey, players James Harden, Chandler Parsons, coach Kevin McHale, owner Les Alexander all traveled to LA to speak with Howard. Hakeem Olajuwon, Y ao Ming and Dikembe Mutombo all taped video messages for Howard as well on behalf of the Rockets.
The Rockets are able to offer Howard a four year, $88 million dollar deal. The Lakers, Hawks, Warriors and in state rival Mavs will all also pitch to Howard this week.
1st Round-Shane Larkin (via trade)
Guard from Miami
Mavs did some trading on draft night, but landed the ACC player of the year. Larkin could be a center piece of the franchise, if they go the rebuilding route. If they still feel they can win now, Larkin might be traded to create cap space.
2nd Round-Ricky Ledo
Guard from Providence
Ledo never played college ball, he had some academic issues and opted to just enter the draft. Ledo is an athletic shooting guard, and the Mavs just have to pray he matures. Again, the big Mavs target is Dwight Howard, so both picks might not ever make it to Big D.
1st Round-Livio Jean Charles
Forward from France
Yes, another young French star. Charles is 19 year old 6’9 forward, don’t expect to see him in a Spurs uniform anytime soon, but if he fills out as he gets older could become another steal for San Antonio. At this point do we ever second guess the Spurs front office on draft night?
2nd Round-Deshaun Thomas
Forward from Ohio State
That’s right, he’s the guy that refused to give the Spurs his phone number during the pre draft screening. Now he belongs to Pop, and will probably spend next season in Austin with the D-League. The former Mr. Indiana high school star was also the Big ten’s leading scorer in a deep Big ten this past season, and has experience as the shooting guard, small forward, and this season power forward. Thomas could develop into Kawhi Leonard’s back up.