Five Reasons Dwight Howard Should Sign With The Houston Rockets
I think the best landing spot for Dwight is in Houston, though you of the third-grade reading level and mind unriddled by dementia probably gathered that from the spoiler-ridden headline. You will not read any of the following phrases in this article: “no state taxes,” “building a brand,” “extra year at the max,” or, my favorite, “larger annual raises, ” as though the NBA were a government entity with an unsavory reputation for enacting pay freezes on their hapless employees. I don’t care about how much money Dwight Howard makes, and, at this point, neither should Dwight Howard. He’s already earned over $100 million over the course of his career in salary and many millions more in endorsements.
The Rockets GM is on the vanguard of sabermetrc anaylytics in the basketball world. He was one of the first General Managers to adopt serious statistical analysis as a hallmark of his organization. He has been planning to add a player of Howard’s caliber for years. He (rightly) believes that the best contractual value in the NBA is a superstar truly worthy of a maximum contract. His ability to retain such a players hinges on savvy drafting (Chandler Parsons makes less than $900,000!) and patience in free agency (he stole Carlos Delfino’s timely shooting for $3 million last summer.) If you’re going to sign with a franchise for the rest of your prime years, you want to make sure that someone smart is directing the franchise, and Daryl Morey has such a large, large, brain. Dwight could take solace in the fact that Morey will put together a sensible roster to contend for championships for years to come.
Not sure if Omar Asik (he’d become the Eric Bledsoe of backup centers in this situation) and Jeremy Lin (never mistaken for a floor-spacing marksman) will fit in well with Dwight? Neither is Daryl! You can bet Morey will flip them into shooters to flank Howard and give him crucial operating space. Every team needs ball handlers and rim protectors, so the Rockets should have no problem curtailing their roster to Dwight’s liking.
Houston’s Up-Tempo Style
Assuming Dwight returns to full health (he didn’t look quite as fast up and down the floor last year), he could get approximately a dozen dunks a game this season just trailing Houston fast breaks. The Rockets played with the fastest pace in the league last season according to John Hollinger’s team statistics, and all their transition action could help prevent Howard’s offense from devolving into characteristic periods of stagnation.
Oh man. James Harden is already one of the most lethal pick and roll players in the game, a deft finisher whose ability to step behind the screen and unleash high-arcing threes opens up lanes for his penetration and creative passing. Imagine if teams had to account for one of the best finishers in the game rolling down the lane right at the rim? Especially if Chandler Parsons is parked on the strong side, idling away in the corner, daring his man to help? Doesn’t that sound like a better offensive scheme than the cluttered mess that would ensue from Dwight playing with the pre/post/post apocalyptic Josh Smith Atlanta Hawks? Wasn’t Kobe surly enough when he had two legs? Dwight Howard wants to win, but he also wants to have some fun. If thing get too serious, he starts freaking out over his Twitter page, taking franchises hostage and being one of the most insufferable famous people in America. James Harden does not strike me as the kind of dude who is going to stress him out, though he may be just the teammate to help him win, which is the only validation on the table for Howard at this point in his accomplished, enigmatic career.