Houston Rockets: Going After Kevin Durant Will Ruin 2015-16 Season

Jan 15, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) and Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) wait for a rebound at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) and Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) wait for a rebound at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Calculated risk: a chance of failure, the probability of which is estimated before some action is undertaken.

For the past couple of offseasons — dating back to 2012 — the Houston Rockets have been the undisputed offseason champions of the NBA. Luring James Harden and Dwight Howard on back-to-back offseasons has propelled them into year-in, year-out contention for as long as they keep both All-Stars.

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However, they’ve shown little to no interest in any of the somewhat talented players that headline this year’s free agent class.

The Rockets are arguably only a point guard away from turning into one of the three most dangerous teams in the league, so, with point guards Brandon Knight and Goran Dragic agreeing to terms with their current teams, the Rockets might be mailing it in for the remainder of the offseason as they try to turn into one of Kevin Durant‘s possible destinations once his impending free agency comes in 2016.

But should they?

Of course they should. During the 2014-15 season, the Rockets reached the Western Conference Finals and basically ran the Southwest Division wire-to-wire. Nevertheless, teams amongst the aforementioned division have been very busy building up during the ongoing offseason. Adding Durant would make them way better.

However, as of right now — Friday, July 3rd — teams in the Rockets’ division have lost no time to reinforce their rosters. Most notably, the Dallas Mavericks have agreed to terms with Portland Trail Blazers’ star Wes Matthews and Los Angeles Clippers’ All-Star big man DeAndre Jordan(!!).

The San Antonio Spurs have brought virtually everyone back from last season, with the exception of Marco Belinelli. And the New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to extend future superstar Anthony Davis to the richest deal in NBA history.

(Note: Immediately after agreeing to a five-year, 145-million deal with the Pellies, Davis put the whole NBA on notice by doing this.)

Whereas the Houston Rockets enter the 2015-16 season — possibly the last one of the James Harden-Dwight Howard experiment — with only their 2015 draft, in which they drafted a small forward and a power forward, and the hope of a healthier season to build upon.

Going after Kevin Durant is, by far, the smartest move for the Houston Rockets — or any other team whatsoever. Kevin Durant is arguably one of the league’s top 10 players, he’s been the league MVP, he’s been the league’s scoring champ four times (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2013-14) and has been very vocal about his desire to finally win an NBA title.

A title that’ll likely put him alongside LeBron James and Stephen Curry as one of the most dominant players of this generation.

A title that the Houston Rockets could certainly help him achieve.

However, by pursuing Kevin Durant

— which is probably what they have in mind —

and the rest of the NBA rapidly rebuilding upon their current rosters, the 2015-16 Houston Rockets might as well turn in their uniforms for the upcoming season. I’m not saying the Rockets won’t be competing during the next season — having Harden and Howard basically confirms they’ll do.

But rest assured, they won’t win the NBA title.

Not with the unproven role players they’ve surrounded their superstars with.

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Not with a declining Dwight Howard as James Harden’s second fiddle.

Not without adding another somewhat talented NBA player via the 2015 offseason.

If we learned anything from the 2014-15 season, the Golden State Warriors — barring any unforeseen health issues — are (and probably will be for at least a couple more seasons) the team to beat within the Western Conference.

Unfortunately for the Rockets, the Warriors’ dynasty seems to be just getting started, thus making the Eastern Conference-located Washington Wizards — which is also KD’s hometown — arguably the most attractive destination for the future free agent.

So yes, even though it sounds like a no-brainer for the Rockets to try and hold the fort with what you’ve got — for at least one more season — just to pursue one of the most coveted free agents of this generation, the calculated risk of missing out on said free agent is still too high for it to be worth if.

Next: Rockets: The LaMarcus Aldridge Era?

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