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NBA Triangle of Texas: Rollercoaster of Success

July 14, 2012

NBA

The Houston Rockets are pursuing Dwight Howard without concern of the cost, while Dallas takes a back seat and San Antonio continues to age.

Texas is home to three NBA teams: the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets, and the San Antonio Spurs which have all had success at one time or another. The Houston Rockets have not made the playoffs since 2009 and are now making a run at getting Dwight Howard.

The Rockets appeared to have a chance at getting Howard on the night of the NBA Draft because of how many draft picks they had acquired and the salary cap space opened up but failed to do so. Afterwards, the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers made attempts to acquire Howard through trades but failed to do so. Prior to the draft, the Dallas Mavericks even tried to acquire Howard but Mark Cuban was reluctant to take on the Magic’s bad contracts, which include Jason Richardson and Chris Duhon, among others.  The Rockets are willing to take this risk though after falling to the bottom of the totem poll of professional basketball in Texas.

Houston once enjoyed being part of the Texas limelight with 7’6” Center Yao Ming, who played from 2002 until 2011, which included multiple injury-plagued seasons. Despite being injured for some of his career in Houston, the team made 5 playoff appearances. None of these appearances went further than the first round though. During the same time frame, the San Antonio spurs won NBA Championships in 2003, 2005, and 2007 and the Dallas Mavericks won in 2011. Houston hasn’t won an NBA Championship since 1995 though, which was the second of the back-to-back titles. In a big state like Texas, when a team is trending down it can lose fans quickly. This is why the Rockets are going after another big man, Dwight Howard, who appears to be one of the best in the league.

Even if the Rockets are able to acquire Dwight Howard, it will not make them an automatic championship contender despite the addition. Instead, the Rockets will resemble the Orlando Magic because of acquiring multiple bad contracts and being left with a small amount of cap space. In addition, the Rockets will have to give up multiple draft picks in the deal, which will hurt the chances of acquiring good young talent via the NBA Draft.

Rockets’ fans may be fond of the idea of acquiring Dwight Howard but the cost may be too high. The only reason the Miami heat experiment of acquiring star players with large contracts worked was because of high quality veterans signing league minimum deals. Houston is not Miami though and veteran players don’t want to live in Texas where the beaches and clubs aren’t filled with stars. Houston may want to build their team in a traditional manner through the NBA Draft, and already have a head start after making 3 first round selections this year. Team management can easily spend someone else’s money to build a team but it takes true talent to scout, select, and develop players that lead to multiple NBA titles.

Written by Colin Walker

Follow on Twitter: @ColinWalker13

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About colinwalker13

Media Producer, Communications Research, Sports Fan M.A. Central Michigan University: Electronic Media Production B.A. Marist College: Communications: Radio/TV/Film

View all posts by colinwalker13

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