By: rahat huq
When it was reported that the Rockets had made Omer Asik available in trade, I had speculated that Smith was the primary target. Unless this is as a Howard contingency (rather than concurrency), it looks like that could be the case.
As I said before, I'm torn. If signing Smith is an important part of the pitch to Howard, then the debate is moot. But if not, there are merits to both sides of the argument. On the one hand, it just makes rational economic sense to allocate your dollars in the manner of highest yield, per minute. To that end, that would mean being able to play Smith and Howard together would be the greatest bang for the buck. That scenario would be in contrast to the reality that Asik and Howard probably can't share the court for more than few minutes a game.
On the flip side, there's just something to having two defensively elite 7 footers on your squad. Asik also serves as great Howard insurance.
But if you're going all the way in, you're not really thinking about insurance. You're thinking about the best 5-man unit you can put on the floor for 35 minutes of a playoff game. Despite Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas respective vast potentials, the Rockets probably feel they cannot expect to immediately contend with relative unknowns at the '4'.
Howad with Smith is a scenario we had widely discussed throughout the season. Funny that it could have chance of happening.