After landing former Oklahoma City Thunder guard James via trade in the 2012 offseason and former Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers’ center Dwight Howard during the 2013 offseason, the Houston Rockets set their sights on Miami Heat forward LeBron James and New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony.
James never seemed like a realistic option but after receiving a visit from Anthony, the Rockets were confident they could land him. That confidence seems to have disappeared and the Rockets have turned their attention to Heat big man Chris Bosh. Of course, if Bosh remains with the Heat, they will have to look in a different direction.
Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders believes Detroit Pistons’ forward Josh Smith could be an option for the Rockets.
From the Rockets’ side of things, I completely agree about defense being a major issue last season. Part of that was due to undisciplined play and inconsistent efforts at key defensive positions (SG/SF & PG when Beverly wasn’t available or on the court), but another aspect of it is the wide-open style and fast pace they ran at times. Long shots often lead to long rebounds, and if players (especially guards and forwards) aren’t disciplined enough to maintain a balanced court, it can leave you susceptible to quick outlets (9th-worst in opponent’s fast break points in 2013-14) and make it difficult to settle into the proper matchups even in the event that you make it back in time to settle in on defense. I do think targeting Smith could be an option (as Det has made it pretty clear they’d be interested in moving him), but he’s probably is somewhere a few spots down the priority list.
Smith put up 16.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 41.9% from the field, 26.4% from three and 53.2% from the charity stripe.