Rumors and speculations are now swirling around the Houston Rockets who are reportedly targeting Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford who will become an unrestricted free agent. The rumors started to fire up after the dispute between James Harden, the Rockets’ management and Dwight Howard continues to surround the team.
After the Houston Rockets’ disappointing loss to the Golden State Warriors in round one of the Western Conference playoffs, they are now undergoing a rebuilding process and this includes a huge adjustment in their roster. Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff called the team ‘broken’ mainly focusing on James Harden and Dwight Howard, who were having a hard finding their chemistry.
Dwight Howard wanted to be the main focus on the offensive end, opposite on what the Rockets management preferred for the team. According to a report from ESPN, Howard expressed his sentiments for the Rockets’ management, saying that he was not given the treatment he deserved.
“There were times I was disinterested because of situations that happened behind the scenes that really hurt me. It left me thinking, ‘This is not what I signed up for.'”
“I felt like my role was being reduced. I went to [Rockets general manager] Daryl [Morey] and said, ‘I want to be more involved.’ Daryl said, ‘No, we don’t want you to be.’ My response was, ‘Why not? Why am I here?’ It was shocking to me that it came from him instead of our coach. So I said to him, ‘No disrespect to what you do, but you’ve never played the game. I’ve been in this game a long time. I know what it takes to be effective.'”
With this, Dwight Howard is expected to opt out his $23.3 million player option in the 2016-17 NBA season and explore the free agency market to seek for a new team. On the other hand, the Houston Rockets are currently looking for a replacement for Howard through the upcoming free agency. Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks is topping the list of the Rockets’ free agency targets.
Al Horford can be a better replacement for Dwight Howard knowing how he performed in the offensive and defensive end. He can be a good tandem with James Harden since he does not demand the ball that much and mostly focus on team plays.
If Howard officially opts out his contract, the Rockets will be releasing a huge salary cap, enough to sign Al Horford for their team. However, the decision is still in Horford’s hands since the Atlanta Hawks are expected to re-sign him when he becomes a free agent. The Rockets should give Horford the best reason on why he should sign for their team.
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