Dwight Howard is hitting the open market this summer, meaning he’ll need to keep his mind clear and think long and hard about making the right choice regarding his future and his chances at winning a championship.
One of the numerous options the superstar center will have on the table is to uproot from Los Angeles and go ply his trade in Texas with the Houston Rockets.
According to NBA Insider Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Superman is intrigued by the possibility of playing alongside James Harden, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik and the rest of the supporting cast in Houston.
That squad managed to push the 60-win Oklahoma City Thunder to six games in the opening round of the 2013 NBA playoffs, proving that this No. 8 seed is going to be a regular fixture in the postseason—with or without Howard.
Of course, D12’s presence would certainly give the young, upcoming club a much-needed interior scoring threat and a second star to take pressure off Harden during big games.
With Harden—and his now legendary beard—emerging into a legit nightmare to defend out on the perimeter and driving to the lane, Houston would be able to augment his skills with one of the top defenders, rim protectors and finishers around the hoop in the Association.
Is that core enough to make the Finals coming out of the tough Western Conference?
With OKC having more questions than answers arising from this postseason, the San Antonio Spurs aging another year, the potential free-agency-based collapses of both L.A. franchises and the Memphis Grizzlies a fringe contender at best, it certainly seems that way.
As of right now, the Rockets don’t have the space available to extend a max-contract offer to Howard’s camp, but they should be plenty flexible enough to make room for the big man when he’s available in six weeks.
Berger notes that Francisco Garcia’s $6.4 million team option has yet to be exercised, and Carlos Delfino’s $3 million is not guaranteed for the upcoming campaign.
If Houston general manager Daryl Morey believes there is even a faint chance for his organization to land Howard, expect him to clear the books and make a serious run at the nine-year veteran.
While it may not be a decision that analysts or fans—especially those of the Lakers—agree with, D12 would be downright foolish not to give strong consideration to the Rockets in the offseason.
This is a team on the rise and could be the one that Howard finally wins a long-coveted ring with, but only if he’s willing to make the bold decision to sign there this summer.