NBA free agency 2013: Rockets targeting Josh Smith if Dwight Howard signs


The Rockets are aiming to create a Big 3 of their own, adding two of the game's premier post players to pair with James Harden for years to come.

The Rockets will try to lure Josh Smith to Houston if they are able to sign Dwight Howard, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. Howard and Smith grew up together in Atlanta and have been friends since childhood.

There would be considerable roadblocks to maneuver for the Rockets. Despite being tabbed the early favorites to land Howard, there are teams lining out the door to secure his services for the foreseeable future and it's not a foregone conclusion he will sign with Houston. And given their financial restrictions, the Rockets would likely have to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Atlanta Hawks in order to bring Smith over.

Amick also reported on Tuesday that the team is looking to deal Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to clear more than $8 million in salary cap space.

If the Rockets are able to land Howard and Smith, their starting lineup would immediately become one of the most formidable in the league with Harden, Patrick Beverley and Chandler Parsons. Depth may be a bit of an issue, although there would surely be a couple of veterans willing to exchange some cash for a chance to win a ring.

One consideration for the Rockets is whether or not they're willing to completely overhaul their roster which won 45 games last season. Howard and Smith are undoubtedly talented players, but they do come with their fair share of baggage. And with Harden already taking control as the team's leader last year, it may take a while for everyone to mesh.

More from SB Nation:

The NBA's top 90 free agents | All NBA free agency news

Grading the NBA free agent deals

Tyreke Evans and the suddenly hot free agent market

Rondo's on board with Boston's rebuild

NBA Draft 2013 grades and results

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