New Faces: Dwight Howard, Omri Casspi, Reggie Williams, Aaron Brooks and Marcus Camby.
New Places: Thomas Robinson (Portland), James Anderson (76ers), Royce White (76ers), Tom Olbrecht (Also, 76ers), Carlos Delfino (Bucks)
Draft: Isaac Canaan (34th overall)
In short, this was the offseason Daryl Morey got his White Whale– Dwight Howard. For years, Morey had been amassing assets upon assets in hopes of being able to build a team appealing to a top free agent. Now, this season will be time for the Rockets to move on to the next part of their plan and see just how far this thing that Morey built will take them.
Acquiring Howard didn’t come painlessly. They gave up Thomas Robinson– a recent top-5 pick who could just never find the right fit for him to develop. Now he’s gone, and so is Royce White, who was also another first round pick, to the Sixers, joining about 87 other former Rockets in The City of Brotherly Love. However, the bulk of what the Rockets lost were expendable pieces. They were assets, meant to be disposed of in the name of acquiring a star and surrounding him with the best possible team. Guys like Robinson and White weren’t going to help them next season, so Morey sent them out east.
Joining Dwight, Omer Asik, James Harden and James Harden will now be Aaron Brooks, Marcus Camby, Omri Casspi and Reggie Williams. While they may not see tons of court time, we’ve seen with the Miami Heat how a championship team needs spot contributions from any given player on the roster for periods of time. Although, if your season comes down to playing Marcus Camby heavy minutes in 2014, you are probably more worried about where your drafting than what your playoff seed will be. It shouldn’t come to that. We think. We hope.
As for Canaan, he may not play a ton behind Jeremy Lin and Aaron Brooks, but the undersized point guard could provide them with some instant offense, should it come to that. But when you have Harden, Chandler Parsons (Woah. Forgot about him. This team is good.), Dwight…etc. offense shouldn’t be a problem.
The Rockets had an offseason that puts them right up there with the Spurs, Thunder and Clippers among the Western Conference’s elite. If Dwight is healthy and head coach Kevin McHale can put it all together, the Rockets could be a matchup nightmare on just about every night. Morey finally saw his plan through up to this point, now let’s see where this goes.