Amid speculation that LeBron may be seriously contemplating heading back home to Cleveland, there have been reports that the Rockets have intensified their courting of Chris Bosh. Born in Texas, Bosh would have a chance to chase a title with Dwight Howard and James Harden, forming a supposedly formidable, at least on paper, Big 3 in the West.
The move makes sense for Bosh personally. A few days ago, rumors swirled that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had no idea what LeBron would do in free agency. There is much less coordination on their part this time around in free agency. This time, LeBron, it seems, is keeping his cards close to the chest. He owes nothing to Wade and Bosh, and the LeBron’s only priority is winning. It was reported that Bosh came away from a meeting with LeBron with the feeling that LeBron might very well leave Miami. And, so LeBron told Bosh to pursue other options, just in case.
The team that keeps popping up interested in Bosh is the Rockets. Unlike the Heat who are lowballing Bosh, the Rockets are willing to offer Bosh a max contract. Bosh would get more money and play a bigger role on the Rockets than in Miami. I kind of get it for Houston. They are looking for a third star, and especially a stretch four to create some more room for Dwight Howard down low. But let’s not kid ourselves. A ‘Big 3’ of Dwight Howard, James Harden, and Chris Bosh isn’t nearly as formidable as it may sound. Harden plays no defense. Bosh is one of the softest big men in the league, and has slowly compromised his game, so that now he’s mostly just a spot up shooter. And Howard has been criticized for years now at the dearth of low post moves and poor foul shooting, not to mention the obvious lack of any leadership.
I understand that the Rockets desperately want a power forward who can shoot 3’s and play defense. Bosh does those things. His defense is often criticized, but it’s important to remember that he was frequently playing out of position against centers for the Heat. On the Rockets, he would never be playing against opposing centers. But Bosh is already 30 years old. The Rockets could easily lose Chandler Parsons if they decide to intensify talks with Bosh. Teams around the league that aren’t targeting LeBron, Carmelo, or Bosh are targeting the teams are. Those teams looking for second-tier free agents, like the Mavericks, are leaving teams like the Rockets in an awkward and tough position. Go ahead and put all your eggs in one basket, push for Bosh. But we’ll swoop in and grab Parsons. That’s what the Mavericks are doing to the Rockets right now.
Parsons’ stats are probably a little inflated playing on the quick-tempo Rockets, but he is still only 25 years old and can do a little bit of everything. Losing Parsons would be a huge blow to the Rockets. And sure, the Rockets probably want to improve from mid-range. I mean, they were the worst mid-range shooting team in the league last year, but remember: the Rockets also don’t take mid-range shots. They shoot by far the fewest mid-range jumpers in the league. Bosh’s greatest asset is his mid-range shooting, but the way the Rockets play, Bosh may be left sitting on the 3-point line all game.
Bosh does fit on the Rockets, but it’s far from a perfect fit. The offense would be an ugly, complicated mix of Harden and Bosh bombs from deep, and inefficient post-ups by Dwight Howard. That is a Big 3 that lacks any toughness and grit.
Bosh is a smart guy. Hopefully he’s smart enough to realize that Phoenix is a better fit for his talent than Houston. Phoenix isn’t far behind Houston either, despite not having the same name-recognition guys on its roster. And Bosh could even be the lead guy there too.
That is, if he is still up for that kind of thing.