BY: RAMZY KAWAJA
I’m starting to get an uneasy feeling about the pursuit of the most wanted man in the NBA, Dwight Howard. Amidst the reports, valid or not, of “Superman’s” obtuse rejection of Morey’s pre-empted contract extension, Red Nation fans and the entire organization is still willing to push their stack in the middle of the table. The people down here are yearning for a change. Anything that would jumpstart this pulse-less franchise and inch us away from the abyss of mediocrity is welcomed with open arms. I fear, though, this feeling of desperation is clouding the judgement of the Rocket faithfuls and, more importantly, General Manager Daryl Morey.
The logic behind the risk is that a Dwight departure would finally give Morey the excuse to start the long awaited rebuilding process that involves suffering through countless defeats while adding up ping-pong balls. This is all good and well, but let’s get real. In our heart of hearts we all know the outcome if Howard gets traded to Houston. We would get 82 games, or less since he’s coming off of season-ending back surgery, of spectacular throw-downs and a never ending love-fest only to watch the guy jump on the first boat to Brooklyn. The Rockets will be left with another mid first-rounder and the start of a less than average brand of basketball for the next three years. Getting Howard only delays the inevitable. Let’s start this “worst-to-first” transition as soon as possible.
If “The Wonder kid” does indeed pull two top 10 picks out of his top hat, I say use them to prepare for the future. Draft the best players available. I have enough confidence in our talent evaluaters to trust they’ll make the right choice at, say, fifth or whatever. If Daryl still owns the 14th, 16th, and the 18th selections, and nobody left is appealing, trade them for future first-rounders.
Going out and getting a Josh Smith, a Paul Milsap or a Pau Gasol won’t make the Rockets that much better, but older and content with their current position. For those who believe that acquiring the league’s best center will lure Deron Williams into donning a ketchup/mustard uniform, allow me to be the bearer of bad news and just say, “It ain’t happening.” I don’t claim to own a crystal-ball but my vision on this matter is 20/20.
Let’s save ourselves the heart-break and prepare as if Dwight has come and gone already.