The free agency market for big men has dried up. We’ve seen DeMarcus Cousins, JaVale McGee, and Kevon Looney all get new deals. The Rockets have made it known that they are looking for big men. Should Dwight Howard be a target?
The Rockets have been scouring the market for bigs as they need a replacement for Nene, at the very least. However several of the guys they’ve targeted are no longer available, such as JaVale McGee and Kevon Looney.
So that leaves us with a familiar name on the market: Dwight Howard. Yes the same Howard who left the Lakers and came to Houston 6 years ago. And the same Howard who has had a hard time finding a landing spot despite playing on the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards. Yes I’m talking about that Dwight Howard. Well Dwight Howard was just traded to the Memphis Grizzlies and is likely to get bought out.
Howard is surely someone who the Rockets could sign for the minimum at this point. We haven’t heard any teams express interest in him, so it’s not like we would be at risk of getting outbid. On a minimum deal, if things don’t work out we can just cut our ties. Last season, Howard averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds on 62.3% shooting per 36 minutes. Granted this was a very small sample size, as he only played in 9 games, but those are staggering numbers. He posted a Player Efficiency Rating of 17.4, which would have been higher than All-Stars Klay Thompson, Kris Middleton and Kyle Lowry. He played 25 minutes per night, which is surely more than the Rockets would need him to play.
But if you believe that season shouldn’t count because he missed too many games, that’s a fair argument. We’ll go to the year before when he was a member of the Charlotte Hornets. Howard averaged 19.7 points, 14.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per 36 minutes. Those are All-Star caliber numbers! Not only that, but that was the highest rebounding clip in his Hall of Fame career and his 4th best scoring clip per 36 minutes. He also had a Player Efficiency Rating of 20.5 which would have actually been higher than All-Stars Paul George, and Bradley Beal.
Again I know it’s not necessarily a popular perspective but let’s remember the fact that the bigs we’ve been targeting are off the market AND we wouldn’t be asking Howard to be anything other than a reserve big man. And again he would be on a minimum deal that would be easy to get out of.
Based on how the market has come and gone with big men, the Rockets may not have much of a choice.