The Houston Rockets finished the season with a devastating loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA playoffs 2016. While they managed to get in the playoffs, the James Harden team was easily dominated by Stephen Curry and company in the first part of their series. To make matters worse, none of the key players on the Houston Rockets roster was injured or involved in any issue to serve as a distraction in the hardwood court. So why did such a talented team fail to rank higher this NBA season?
One of the main reasons pointed out to explain the abysmal performance of the Houston Rockets is Dwight Howard. The former Los Angeles Lakers star, who was signed on the roster to serve as the veteran guide of young James Harden, proved to be a disappointment to his fans and the followers of the NBA team. Instead of helping each other out on the hardwood court, the duo looked uncoordinated and awkward in their plays. Miscommunications and bad chemistry were also noted as reasons for the awful performance of the Houston Rockets this season.
Hence, it comes as no surprise that the Houston Rockets are reportedly looking into releasing Dwight Howard this NBA offseason. Surprisingly, the James Harden team aims to sign Atlanta Hawks star Al Horford as a replacement for the former Orlando Magic star.
"A person familiar with the organization told Sporting News that landingHawks star Al Horford is the Rockets' top-line goal in free agency, and Ryan Anderson also would be a possibility," revealed Sean Deveney. He added, "Also, expect Morey to be creative in pursuing sign-and-trade deals involving star players like Blake Griffin, Jimmy Butler or Carmelo Anthony, should they become available."
The possibility of signing Horford will provide Harden with a partner who is both closer to his age and playing style. Moreover, it can give the Houston Rockets a flexible space to build upon as the Atlanta Hawks star is still in his prime. The addition of Ryan Anderson can also bolster the NBA team's roster especially in light of the failed trade involving Ty Lawson.
Meanwhile, the idea of signing the likes of Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks might have given some fans the conviction that another veteran star is needed on the Houston Rockets roster. Rumor has it that the pending free agency of Rajon Rondo might see the former Boston Celtics star sign with the James Harden team. Can he do a better job in Houston than in the Sacramento Kings where he failed to successfully mentor DeMarcus Cousins?