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Rockets GM Daryl Morey discusses factors that helped Houston land Dwight Howard (VIDEO)

Jul 7, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

There were seemingly legitimate basketball reasons for Dwight Howard to choose the Rockets in free agency over everyone else.

The easy ones to point to that made the case against the Lakers were the age of Steve Nash, the questionable health of Kobe Bryant, and the fact that Howard never believed that the system run by Mike D’Antoni in Los Angeles was one that would maximize and/or showcase his talents.

But there were real factors in the plus column for Houston that also put the Rockets at the top of this list, and Rockets GM Daryl Morey breaks some of those down in the video clip above.

  1. saint1997 - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    I’m still a little skeptical of this team as it is constructed. They need to trade Asik for a near All-Star calibre for in order to contend – I just don’t see a team contending with the pieces they have

    • 6thsense79 - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Tyson Chandler made the all-star team last season with averages of 10.4 ppg 10.7 RPG and 1.1bpg.
      Asik last year averaged 10.1ppg 11.7rbpg and 1.1bpg. I would say Asik is near all star. Last year the team went 45-37. I would imagine having Howard start and Ask coming off the bench and sometimes playing alongside Howard would improve on that record and enable them to compete against most teams in the west. When you have one of the best shooting guards in the league and one of the best center in the league you can compete. Vegas immediately recognized this and has Houston as a top 5 contender to win the championship going from 20-1 odds to 10-1 odds.

      • stoutfiles - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        That’s nice and all, but Asik doesn’t want to come off the bench. He feels he is a starter. He is already demanding a trade.

      • 6thsense79 - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        The only time a player can really dictate a trade is heading into the final years of his contract. Besides Asik averaged only 30 minutes per game last year and I’m sure the Houston coaching staff can get him close to that even comming off the bench. If he isn’t happy then too bad. He is under contract for a fewmore years and will just have rto suck it up

    • davesmall1 - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      Asik is a monster when it comes to defending the rim and rebounding. His offense improved greatly with the move from Chicago to Houston.

      The Rockets had difficulty matching up against teams like Memphis with two bigs who could dominate the paint. That won’t happen if they’re able to put Howard and Asik on the floor together. The pain then becomes a no fly zone.

      Keeping Asik gives the Rockets great flexibility for match ups. They’ve got Asik who is a beast rebounder/defender. They’ve got Donatas Motiejunas who is a four that can play outside and shoot threes. They’ve got Terrence Jones who is an immensely talented young power forward.

  2. 13arod - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    I didn’t even noticed howard in the uniform

  3. logisticalvoices - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Biggest plus for Houston? No #vino

  4. BigBeachBall - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Or maybe howard decided in his head that he wanted to play for houston years ago… Spending a year in LA was just business. Lakers rid themselves of bynum, orlando gets picks, and philly got bamboozled.

    • 6thsense79 - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      Howard wanted to play for the Nets. Houston was never in the running “years ago” because they just got Harden. Howard would have never chosen Houston if D. Morrey didn’t do such a great job building the team from blah to fairly interesting so their is a little bit of revisionist history in your post.
      Also assuming the move to Houston is not a sign and trade the Lakers also got bamboozled. They were ableto rent Howard for 1 injury hobbled year after trading Bynum. At the time they could have made other lucrative trades for Bynum but they took a chance Howard would resign with them because after all they’re the Lakers and now have nothing to show for losing Bynum.

  5. rollajay420 - Jul 7, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    The only factor with him going to Houston instead of staying in LA was he can not handle the pressure so he left to the little ole Houston..Just like Shaq said! Weak minded D12….Wuss

    • lmoneyfresh - Jul 7, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      Nevermind that the coach stinks, Kobe’s hurt, old PG and the rest of the team is only getting older. Yeah, it was only the pressure…

  6. realfootballfan - Jul 7, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Who’s buying this team as a contender. Hardin isn’t a superstar, good player in the Paul George lane, but he was the player the Heat made disappear in the Finals 2 years ago and is the biggest reason OKC passed on trying to keep him.

    Dwight is a clown who lacks the intensity to take anyone anywhere, which was why he will rue the day he got Van Gundy fired since he got the most out of him. Houston will be a nice 50-55 win a year team who routinely gets beat in the 2nd round, maybe the conference finals since the West is so weak these days. Memphis was in the conference finals for god sake last year, and while they’re a nice little team, that’s not a championship team either.

    All this move is going to do is get Maury and McHale fired because they can’t win a championship, so someone will have to take the fall for it and it won’t be their two “superstars.” That felt funny even writing that laughable nonsense.

    • 6thsense79 - Jul 7, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      Stick to football. Your analysis needs major work. Harden is arguably the best shooting guard in the NBA heading into the 2013 season. Kobe is older and will be comming off a serious injury that will impact his explosiveness and D wade is also older, looked like a shell of himself in many games during the playoffs and is also significantly older. Harden is an All Star and a top tier all star at that. He averaged 26pts and 6 assists last year. He can also play point guard if needed as he is an above average passer. Secondly only someone truly ignorant of why OKC traded Harden or how the league works would believe they traded him because of one playoff series. OKC traded Harden because they didn’t think they could resign him. Harden wanted max money and OKC had already allocated max to near max money to Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka.They did offer a fairly high contract to Harden but it wawasn’t a max and he turned it down.

      As for that “clown” Dwight Howard he did somehow manage to take the Orlando Magic to the NBA finals in 2009 as the undisputed focal point of that team and with no other perennial all star. One of his worse season was last year when he averaged 18pts and lead the league in rebounds with 12 per game. That is most center’s best season. Also people try to down play getting a team to the finals but every player knows how difficult that is. It seems it’s only fans and certain media members that don’t realize the level of intensity dedication and hard work it takes just to get there. Some of the best players in the league such as Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony have never been there. Others like Kevin Durant have been there but haven’t won.

      • realfootballfan - Jul 7, 2013 at 7:02 PM

        Btw, yea Harden is the best two in the league with his 43% FG and scoring on a mediocre team. He’s definitely better than Wade who shot 52% last year [(sarcasm], was part of the team that erased him in the Finals 2 years ago (and don’t give me the 3 stars thing because what was he, Durant, and Westbrook….all brought their A game except Mr. Invisible there), was a major reason the Heat nearly broke the consecutive win streak (or maybe you’re one of the dummies that thinks LBJ did it alone), and is going to be remembered in the same breath as the greatest to ever play this game, something I’m comfortable saying Harden never will be. Just because Wade was hurt during the playoffs, don’t get confused that he still about him being miles ahead of Harden’s game, and on the defensive end, forget about it, Wade’s amongst the best 2 guards I’ve ever seen play the game. That’s indisputable unless you’re a moron watching basketball.

        Harden’s a nice, good player on a nice, little team that won’t ever win anything unless some catastrophic injuries occur all around the league.

        He’s hardly a superstar (that term is used way too loosely these days) and just because you and your Rocket homies are too delusional to understand that scoring 26 ppg on a 45 win team while shooting 43% is hardly anything to be poking your chest out about, nor is adding the biggest baby in basketball who will get Morey and McHale fired 2 years from when I’m typing this (if not sooner). And if you think OKC wouldn’t have offered him more if he were more valuable, keep telling yourself that, you’ll learn after a few 2nd round playoff bounces.

    • c4b00s3 - Jul 7, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      I registered for an account just to tell you how much of a failure you are at formulating a legitimate opinion.
      McHale maybe. but Morey is going to be praised as one of the best exec’s of the decade because of the moves he’s made. The first two paragraphs of your comment were passable opinions, but as soon as I saw the last one I knew without a shadow of a doubt that you have no effing clue what your even talking about. stick to football bro, for your sake.

  7. realfootballfan - Jul 7, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    6thsense79 ,

    Keep telling yourself that just like the Laker fans were telling themselves they were contenders with that broke down roster he just left and no bench. Same thing with delusional Houston fans. Your two “superstars” are a guy that the Heat erased in the Finals, btw the biggest reason they lost in 5 games, and an immature baby with a limited offensive game. And Harden is the best two guard in basketball, lol. Especially since there aren’t any good ones in the league besides Kobe, lol. I’ll see you crying next May when your team loses in the 2nd round and I say, “Told you so.”

    • 6thsense79 - Jul 7, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      Actually I’m a Wizards fan. But most of all I’m an NBA fan. I like debating and going back and forth with other knowledgeable NBA fans. Unfortunately you are not one of them. I’m sorry but anyone that thinks OKCwould trade a coveted asset like Harden because of what happened in one playoff series can’t be considered a knowledgeable NBA fan. As for Harden he has already proven himself on the court and even you can’t dispute he is arguably the best shooting guard in the league. You keep putting superstars in quotes like that means something. Yes Howard and Harden are Superstars. They are amongst the best at their positions and one can legitimately argue they are THE best at their positions.

      I also wasn’t one of those that automatically predicted a championship for the Lakers because I didn’t like the way the pieces fit. Nash needed the ball in his hands and Kobe did also. Plus there were Gasol and Howard to keep happy and the team was old. I didn’t think they would look as bad as they did but I wasn’t sure how they would gel. Now Houston is younger, its two SUPERSTARS are signed for multiple years and it seems everyone will know their roles. Harden and Howard will be options A and B and the other role players will contribute as needed.

      • limonadamas - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:58 AM

        Don’t feed the trolls… lol =P

  8. jnoah13 - Jul 7, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    wow man. That is god awful. Completely ignorant analysis. The Lakers are an ancient team that can’t play D and cannot run D’Antoni’s run and gun offense in the slightest. If you actually watched the finals two years ago, you’d see that wade and lebron were doubling harden at every opportunity seeing as he was their best playmaker at the time. Hard to score when you’re being run off the 3pt line by two amazing defenders. The fact that Howard went to the rockets means he wants to win. If he wanted more money, he could stay with the fakers despite the fact that they have to start rebuilding since Kobe Nash and Pau are all falling apart. Harden is incredibly dynamic running the show and being able to dump the ball to dwight in the post and run the pick and roll with him, unstoppable. Pure unstoppable. Please, go watch a bunch of sweaty rednecks touching each other and leave basketball to people who can actually make they’re own observations, and not just what you hear coming out of Skip Bayless’s mouth.

  9. realfootballfan - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Like I said, I’ll be here next year when you clowns are wondering why the Rockets got bounced in the 2nd round.

    Harden got erased because he was the easiest one they could make disappear. Westbrook gave them fits, Durant wasn’t spectacular, but he didn’t lay an egg like Harden did. I never said they traded him because of that series alone, but they obviously thought they could get along without him at the price he was asking. Otherwise, he would still be there.

    I know just as much about basketball as I do about football, and I know this is hardly a championship team. You might want to stop discussing the game with your fan blinders on because I don’t wear them since I only watch the game for good basketball and have no allegiance to any particular team, just shooting it to you straight. Stop getting all emotional about your sorry ass team.

    And the dude that keeps calling Harden the best 2 guard in the game must be smoking some of that California stuff.

    • hannsta - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      Name a 2 guard better, and don’t name a 30+ injured one.

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