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21 August 2013 Written by  Nicholas A. Norman

Rockets Coming Together as High Expectations are Set for Upcoming Season

 

With newly crowned “rocketman” Dwight Howard signed to the Houston Rockets, the team looks to build in the offseason in preparation for the 2013-2014 season.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey shed some light on what the Rockets might look like with Dwight Howard and Omer Asik on the floor next season. “Coach Kevin McHale plans to experiment with Dwight at power forward and Omer as center in training camp,” Morey said in an “ask me anything” chat on reddit.com Friday. “If it works and helps us win, obviously we would look at using it.”

When the Rockets landed Howard as a free agent this summer, there was some concern that Asik, one of the Rockets’ big acquisitions in 2012, would not be happy with a reduced role. “Omer would prefer to be a starter and is certainly a starter (and) quality player,” Morey said in response to a question about Asik’s feelings on having to share the duties at center with Howard. “That said, he is a winner first (and) likes being on a winning team.” Asik, 7-0, started all 82 games for the Rockets last season and played 30 minutes per game after being signed as a free agent from the Chicago Bulls. He averaged 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds.

Dwight started his work with his mentors Hakeem Olajuwon and coach Kevin McHale last week in the Toyota Center. The Rockets hired the “dream” to mentor Howard soon after they acquired him from free agency.

Once the Rockets signed Dwight Howard this summer, part of the team’s plan was to transition from a young roster to one with more veterans to surround Howard and James Harden. The latest addition is guard Ronnie Brewer, who will sign a two-year deal with the team soon.

The Rockets would be Brewer’s sixth team in nine seasons. Last season he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder after being traded from the New York Knicks. Brewer, a 6-7 guard/forward, was drafted in the first round by Utah in 2006 out of Arkansas. His best season with the Jazz was 2008-09 when he started 80 games and averaged 13.7 points and 3.2 rebounds.

The addition of Brewer will give the Rockets 18 players under contract for camp next month. They will have to cut down to 15 by the start of the regular season.