NBA Draft 2013: Houston Rockets Draft Preview

By Phillip Pyle

Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets, for the second consecutive postseason, are planning a huge run at Dwight Howard. Better known as the Hunt for Howard (R).

Last summer, general manager Daryl Morey, shuffled a lot of contracts in a bid to try to trade with the Orlando Magic for Howard’s services. The plan for Howard failed, but after a surprising campaign that saw the Rockets make the playoffs and threaten the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, the Rockets are back on the Hunt for Howard (R).

This time around, Howard is an unrestricted free agent. And this time around, the Rockets are a much more attractive group.

The Rockets added James Harden just before the start of the 2012-13 campaign and he made the All-Star team and was named to the All-NBA Third Team. Chandler Parsons blossomed as did Omer Asik, although who knows what his role would be if the Rockets obtained Howard’s services, or if he remains with the team.

The Rockets would need to shed some salary to get Howard and rumors abound that Thomas Robinson, the fifth pick in last year’s draft, whom the Rockets acquired at the trade deadline from the Sacramento Kings, is available. Teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Chicago Bulls have expressed interest.

If Howard becomes an unrealistic option, there is still Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala, and…wait for it…Chris Paul. Houston has no first-round draft choices, but has the 34th overall selection and have proven their potential at picking talent in the 2nd round.