Dwight Howard changes his mind more than any superstar in recent memory. One second he wants to be "the man," and the next he's inquiring with Daryl Morey about the Rockets' ability to add a third superstar to the roster. Unless Howard's mind wanders again, it's looking more and more likely that Howard will be a Rocket on July 10th.
If you use the term superstar liberally, then free agent forward Josh Smith may also be the third piece in Houston's new-look lineup. Smith also provides Howard with a comfortability factor that Monta Ellis only thinks he provides. Unlike Ellis and Howard, these two actually go way, way back. Both were drafted out of Georgia high schools as part of the 2004 draft class and were AAU national champions with the Atlanta Celtics as teenagers. No new friends, indeed.
There were whispers that the Lakers were interested in dealing Pau Gasol for Smith last summer, but those rumors never came to fruition. Initially, Houston's interest in Smith was thought to only include Smith as a back-up plan if Howard signed elsewhere.
There is one caveat though for the Rockets and Smith before this can become a reality. Because of their salary cap situation, the Rockets would have to orchestrate a sign an trade with the Atlanta Hawks involving center Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin or both of their $8.3 million contracts. Unfortunately, the Hawks are joining the 2014 tank-a-palooza, therefore it remains to be seen whether they'd be on board with taking on burdensome two-year contracts.
Smith is reportedly meeting with the Detroit Pistons, but unless he's got a screw loose, there's no way he can find happiness taking an extra one or two milli scraping by in the East instead of potentially challenging for titles with his boy from way back in Houston.