The Houston Rockets entered the 2014 offseason with grand plans.
After netting guard James Harden in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 offseason and then perhaps topping that move by signing former Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard last year, the Rockets wanted to make another big move this sumer. They targeted both Miami Heat free agent forward LeBron James and New York Knicks’ free agent forward Carmelo Anthony. Once James signed with the Cavaliers and Anthony re-signed with the Knicks, they went after Heat big man Chris Bosh. Bosh, of course, opted to stay in Miami.
The Rockets wound up signing Washington Wizards’ swingman Trevor Ariza, but decided against matching the Dallas Mavericks’ offer for forward Chandler Parsons. The Rockets had previously not picked up Parsons’ option, making him a restricted free agent. To clear cap space for any potential moves, they also traded center Omer Asik and point guard Jeremy Lin.
Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders believes the Rockets are the biggest disappointment in free agency.
Houston is the biggest disappointment because they are supposed to be contenders and they are nowhere close. Any other team starts firing people after an embarrassment like the first round. The problem starts with ownership tolerating mediocrity and calling it genius. It’s not a coincidence that Atlanta is going Spurs-style . . .teams that can’t just pay millions in tax dollars have to build the smart way, not take shortcuts.
Adding Trevor Ariza certainly isn’t a bad thing. He is coming off a fantastic and will fit in well as a defender and three-point shooter. Ariza went for 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game last season. He shot 45.6% from the field, 40.7% from beyond the arc and 77.2% from the free throw line.