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Harden has proved his worth in the league this season, but if the team wants to go far in the postseason it has to evaluate its options. The Jeremy Lin experiment looks to have been a failure with his style of play clashing with Harden's and the choice on who to keep or build between the two is an obvious one in James Harden. There's one missing piece to the Houston Rockets' woes and that's an inside presence. There's no surprise why the Rockets were interested in trading for Zach Randolph this season. He would take the attention away from James Harden out in the perimeter and force the defense to collapse on him for a good number of possessions.
With Randolph likely staying in Memphis for a few more years with the Rudy Gay trade giving the Memphis Grizzlies tax relief, the team will have to turn to another option. In fact, it's a pretty obvious option. Arguably the best center in the league (when he's healthy) Dwight Howard will be a free agent this summer and may be looking for a change in scenery. Howard would provide an inside threat that the Rockets desperately need and also a defensive presence they've been lacking against teams with good scorers.
A team wanting Dwight Howard is obvious, but is it worth the trouble for Houston? Is Dwight Howard worth the gamble with the attitude he showed when he had to be the leader of the team? Dwight brings an instant presence in the paint that would shift the Rockets' offense dramatically. Houston would be able to post up a big man for the first time in a long time while giving Harden a good amount of rest throughout the game while on the offensive end. With James Harden's ball handling skills, it would be hard to imagine the Rockets not trying a pick and roll combination between the two either or with Jeremy Lin, an addition that would help his style tremendously.
The Houston Rockets will have the cap room to offer Howard an attractive setting to start over from his Los Angeles Lakers' disastrous season. The team should look into signing Howard as a basketball move and as a marketing manuever. The weight of carrying the Rockets in the playoffs won't be anything close to what it was with the Lakers. Whether Howard is a max player is still to be determined, but it's a safe bet the Rockets should put their aim at the tallest and most productive free agent available this summer.