Houston Rockets Need Veteran Leadership

By Tyler Johnson

 The Houston Rockets are one of the biggest stories this NBA season.  They are the youngest team in the league and are currently sitting in 8th in the Western Conference with a 21-19 record.  However, this recent 5 game losing streak has many wondering if lack of experience is the cause for the teams recent struggle.

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, should Daryl Morey make a move for veteran leadership?

In my opinion, the Rockets are only a couple veterans and another star-caliber player away from being a real contender. That being said, Houston should wait until the offseason to acquire their big name player.  They have enough cap space to sign another max contract and this summer’s free agency class is a pretty good one.  A couple players that have been mentioned as potential free agent targets are Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, Chris Paul, and it pains me to say it but even Dwight Howard.  With the recent success of Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers, it’s safe to assume that he will sign an extension.

But Houston could easily make a good playoff run with the help of veteran leadership this season.  They have the young legs to keep up with the serious contenders of the league.  What they lack is the experience that helps you win close games by doing the little things and limiting turnovers.

The Rockets are currently leading the league in turnovers with about 16 per game.  Much of that has to do with their up-tempo offense, but some has to do with the lack of experience as well.

A couple players to mention would be Jose Calderon and Drew Gooden.  These players have been in the league for a long time and would be able to lead and teach this young, talented team.  Calderon, currently with a 5/1 assist-to-turnover ratio, would be able to teach Jeremy Lin something about not turning the ball over.  Gooden has been a formidable big man throughout his career who would bring consistency and leadership to the young Houston Rockets front court.

Every title contending team has the veteran leadership.  A couple of them on Kevin McHale’s roster could help them down this season’s stretch and in to the playoffs.