It should come as no surprise that the Houston Rockets struck out big time (so far) in this year’s NBA Free Agency. The Rockets not only failed to land targeted players such as Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony, but also managed to let budding prospect, Chandler Parsons, sign and offer sheet with the Dallas Mavericks, without matching the three-year, $46 million offer.
Sure, the Rockets replaced Parsons with Trevor Ariza, but good luck convincing your fanbase that Ariza is an upgrade. Melo obviously stayed in New York, and Chris Bosh signed a massive deal with the Miami Heat, worth $118 million.
I’m sure the Rockets feel a bit of pressure, knowing that they made moves to rid themselves of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin’s contracts, only to strike out (so far) when it comes to landing a big prospect. Unless you ask Dwight Howard or James Harden. Howard went on record last week, saying that Parson’s departure “won’t affect us at all”. Now James Harden has stepped up to the plate to dispatch any feeling that Houston may be in trouble.
“Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets,” said Harden. “The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We’ve lost some pieces and added some pieces. I think we’ll be fine next season.”
Harden may have a point. He and Howard are the alpha dogs in Houston, but landing Bosh, Melo, or keeping Parsons couldn’t have hurt, right? I honestly don’t think they’ll be much different than they were last season, but that’s just the point. They were supposed to upgrade, and not stay in one place, spinning their tires. I believe Harden has been hit with the initial shock that he and Howard didn’t help lure in any big names to help catapult them to the next level.
I guess we won’t really know until we see the Rockets take the floor in 2014-15.