- Created on Sunday, 15 July 2012 23:42
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
It’s been awhile since the Houston Rockets have had a team that could be considered a real contender. Even with Yao Ming the team was never much more than first round fodder. The last time was back in the 90s when they won two titles and into the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons.
The common denominator for those teams was one thing—star power. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has been going crazy trying to bring some to the Rockets.
"While we had Yao Ming, every transaction was how do we make the team better around Yao Ming because we thought with him we had a legitimate shot of being a contender," Morey said. "Every transaction since we knew Yao Ming was no longer going to not play… has been focused on how does this move us closer to getting a star player.”
With one of the biggest catches on the market (we think) in Dwight Howard, Morey has been moving heaven and earth in order to make an attractive enough deal to get him. At some point though, the question has to be raised if he has done too much.
Of last year’s starting five, only two players remain (Kevin Martin and Chandler Parsons), and they could get shipped out as part of a deal for Howard (along with Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris). Goran Dragic and Luis Scola are now in Phoenix and Samuel Dalembert is in Milwaukee. Kyle Lowry is now in Toronto, and bench players Marcus Camby and Chase Budinger have also found new homes.
The carnage is not expected to end. Courtney Lee is not expected back and Kevin Martin has stated he will not resign with the team when his contract is up making him trade bait. That would leave Greg Smith and Courtney Fortson (if you asked who that's okay) as the only players left next season that actually wore a Rockets jersey last season.
It does look as if the Rockets will acquire point guard Jeremy Lin from the New York Knicks, but it is too early in his career to call him a marquee player. With the team possibly sending the rights to this year’s first round draft picks to Orlando as part of the deal as well, the name of the team might as well be changed to Dwight Howard and the Other Guys.
It might only be for one season; Howard has stated he will not resign with the Rockets after the end of the season.
Marquee talent helps win a title, but failing to put quality players around that talent just makes the team first round fodder. So while change is good, Morey needs to make sure he doesn’t do too much and put the Rockets right back where they were before Yao Ming was hurt.