In an interview this week, Dwight Howard spoke about the upcoming offseason which will—assuming they opt out of their current deals—feature marquee superstars Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James as free agents.
The Houston Rockets are expected to be aggressive in free agency in an attempt to add a third star to pair with Howard and guard James Harden. This has been Daryl Morey’s modus operandi since taking over as general manager of the team. For years, he stacked assets and created cap space and arrived on the doorsteps of free agents at midnight on July 1st. Two seasons ago, he landed Harden in a stunning trade just days before the start of the regular season. Last year, his recruiting efforts finally paid off when he convinced Howard to leave Los Angeles to join the Rockets.
In order for Houston to be able to entice another max salary free agent to join their fold, they’ll need to get creative and likely have to find suitors for Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik first, and that’s just a start. Howard, who’s been through his own fiascos first in Orlando and then in Los Angeles, seems to not want to get involved with any of this.
In the interview, he expressed an interest in playing with someone like Carmelo, but also said he will not be personally pitching them. Instead, he’s going to respect their personal process and trust they’ll make the best decision for themselves,
“A great man once told me that this is my plane, I fly it where I want to fly it, I’ll land it where I want to land it. I built it, and it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. If I want people on that plane, I’ll put them on there. If not, this is my plane. For ‘Melo and all of these other free agents, this is their plane. This is their time to fly wherever they want to fly. They can’t let anybody or anything get in the way of doing what’s best for them.”
While it seems far fetched to see LeBron considering Houston as a viable option, the whispers of Carmelo to Houston has existed for quite some time. Again, for Houston to even enter the conversation, they’ll need to have enough room to offer ‘Melo a max-level contract. They’re not quite there yet, but from an organizational standpoint, and for the appeal of teaming up with two relatively young superstars in Harden and Howard, there’s a lot to like about Houston if you’re a free agent looking to win now.
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