NBA players with the same agent can often strike some sort of social bond, and it seems the Houston Rockets are trying to use the connection between Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard in order to get the free agent center, currently contemplating between staying with the Los Angeles Lakers or leaving to a team with a better shot and a better situation for him next season.
Howard didn’t enjoy his debut season with the Lakers too much. He was criticized for not sacrificing his body to win, of being too soft, of not being serious enough. While the Lakers are now talking about not wanting to see him go, including words coming from Kobe Bryant, the overall feeling seems to be of a player who isn’t too happy of where he is right now, and would like to play on a team that might not look at him twice because he likes to smile when things aren’t going too great.
So Howard is thinking about the Rockets, who made the playoffs last season and have a very promising young core of Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik. The arrival of Howard might push Asik, a double-double machine that has trouble with offensive consistency and free throw shooting (something he and Howard share), out of the lineup, as its hard to see two very similar centers playing together too many minutes.
Parsons himself is working on convincing Howard to forget about the Lakers, who are stuck with an old team, an injured Kobe Bryant and a very bad cap situation. For the Lakers, seeing Howard go doesn’t really help their finances and flexibility of signing new players, so a sign & trade is an impossible option for them, and would rather see Howard walk for nothing than take on more contracts that put them in a tough spot.
I’ve created a relationship with him, where I feel like we’re very close. He hits me up about everything. I’ve covered pretty much every question he’s had. I basically tell him, ‘We have a chance to be really good without you next year. We’re going to have a good season.
Why not come and join us, join our core guys who are for sure to be here and make us great, make us contend for a championship?’ That’s the main point I’ve gotten from talking to him. He wants to win. He wants to win rings. It’s obvious there is no better fit, no better team or opportunity to do that than with us.
How does Howard fit the Rockets? A three point shooting team that is mostly based on the mood of James Harden, suddenly with a center that demands to see his fair share of the ball might be a good thing in order to curb and solve one of the Rockets’ problems – James Harden holding on to the ball too much. Having a big man to play off of might make Jeremy Lin look like the point guard he should be, while the rest of the shooters, especially Parsons, will enjoy more open looks on the outside.
In terms of how he fits socially, that is harder to say. Howard can be drawn as a club-wrecker by the media, but it’s hard to say if that’s true, because he did lead the Orlando Magic to two consecutive Eastern Conference Finals and things went South in Orlando due to more than just Howard being a bad influence in the locker room. With the Rockets looking to become a title contender very soon, gambling on Howard isn’t the worst idea in the world.