What are the Rockets doing? Have they been brainwashed so thoroughly by recent free agent bonanzas that they think trading a future for Dwight Howard is enough to win a championship? They’ve been trying to trade draft picks and Kyle Lowry to assemble a package of picks so compelling that the Magic trade them Howard.
And then what?
I’m sure Houston isn’t the glamorous big city that Howard was looking for, so the Rockets can look forward to a melancholy big man who’s star personality overshadows the team dynamic. Even if he commits himself to being a productive teammate, his supporting cast isn’t dramatically better than the one in Orlando. However because teams are convinced the way to win in the NBA is to add the big free agent at any cost, their mission continues. What they aren’t realizing, justifiably, is that securing Howard isn’t securing a future. If he doesn’t win in Houston, which I simply can’t see happening considering how dominant the Heat and Thunder looked, he’ll be looking for another contract in four years after his southern experiment is over. Oh, and he had surgery at the end of last season.
So you have a 26-year-old who is the best big man in the league, but injury and personality problems make him a questionable prospect. Do you really want to bring that drama to your team if you’re the Rockets? Do you really want to sacrifice a bounty of draft picks and one of your best players to put you into immediate playoff contention for the next five years? It’s a question of goals, if you’re aiming to just make your franchise competitive again to sell tickets and increase intrigue, then Howard’s your guy. He’s funny and charismatic when he isn’t destroying your locker room. People would flock to watch him, but if you’re looking to establish your team for the distant future and keep the locker room controllable, then he isn’t your guy.
The Rockets had a good season and showed they had a lot to build on, but by attempting to add Dwight Howard they’re destroying the cohesiveness of a young core that is sure to succeed eventually.