Whether or not Howard makes the Rockets title contenders is debatable. But it does make them relevant on a national scale again.
Howard was the best player available, and the Rockets -- long denied by big free agents --finally got their man. They now have a terrific duo of James Harden and Howard, plus a solid player in Chandler Parsons.
The next move appears to be to get Josh Smith, a talented defensive forward who settles too much for jumpers and is not particularly good at them. Like Howard, he has some flaws. But he is better at the four than anyone on the Rockets roster.
The next move will be a sign and trade that likely sends Omer Asik to Atlanta in exchange for Smith. Jeremy Lin might be involved as well.
A starting lineup of Howard, Smith, Harden, Parsons and (fill in the blank) at the point should be a contender to win the Western Conference.
Yes, Howard has his diva issues. But the Rockets simply had to make this move.
Keep in mind Howard is just 27. Harden will be 24 next year. These are players who es.could get better. Daryl Morey deserves a lot of credit for swinging these deals. Without James Harden, there is no Dwight Howard on this team.
The reasons Howard chose Houston are obvious. A talented roster. An owner willing to add even more pieces. No state income taxes, making the money hit meaningless.
We can debate his impact another day. But for now, the Rockets are exciting again. They are relevant again. They are a national story again.
A story that should only get better.