So in order to give James Harden and Dwight Howard full control and possibly a third star to join them, the Houston Rockets, led by the Daryl Morey and Kevin McHale tandem, drove away Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons. Now they’re stuck with inferior team to the previous version, not to mention having less appeal towards stars they actually tried to sign this summer.
Financially and when looking at cap space only, the Houston Rockets were right to allow Chandler Parsons to leave, not matching the offer from the Dallas Mavericks. His contract, compared with what he brings to the table in terms of production, would have hurt the chance of the Rockets to add that third star they want so badly. It has always been about adding a third superstar. Everything they did was in order to add that Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh. It didn’t work out.
Part of why the Rockets aren’t that big of an attraction to free agents, as Jameer Nelson didn’t answer the beckoning of his former teammate Dwight Howard to join the team, is the personality of James Harden and Dwight Howard. Or at least what they’re perceived as. Harden showed a little bit of what that is by saying what he said the other day about the Rockets being a team of two All-Stars, the cornerstones of the team, with everyone else being their role player.
Trevor Ariza didn’t make too much of it. Someone said that when you’re getting paid enough money, it really doesn’t matter what anyone does say about you. But the Rockets, who started out the 2012-2013 season as an exciting team, possibly the next big thing with a chance to become a great team for the coming years, have taken the wrong turn somewhere. Maybe winning the big sweepstakes of the 2013 free agency, Dwight Howard, wasn’t beneficial in hindsight.
However, with Harden playing the way he does and thinking the way he does, the biggest mistake might have been giving him the reigns of this team. We haven’t heard teammates complaining about him, but it doesn’t take an expert to see that there’s nothing remotely close to team basketball with Harden leading the charge. Chandler Parsons isn’t going to be a star for the Dallas Mavericks right away: This is Dirk’s team, and Monta Ellis isn’t exactly a guy who moves away from shots he likes or doesn’t like, but Parsons should play a bigger role there, not to mention have a much better head coach.
The good thing from all of this might be a rivalry starting to brew, or get re-ignited, between the two teams. It’s important that there’s animosity between certain players and teams that get to meet for more than two times a season. The Rockets might not have gotten better this season, but they have given others more reason to wish for their losses, which should make things in games against the Dallas Mavericks a lot more interesting.