NBA Trade Deadline 2013: Josh Smith to Houston Would Make Rockets an Elite

Nick Juskewycz@@NickJuskewyczContributor IIIFebruary 20, 2013

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 11:  Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks at American Airlines Center on February 11, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets have an excellent opportunity to go from a team with a lot of buzz to an actual threat. That opportunity is Josh Smith.

Ken Berger of CBS Sports (via Kris Willis of Peachtree Hoops) reported that the Rockets are in the mix and is a team Smith is interested in.

Houston scores 106.1 points a game (first in NBA), but it also gives up 103.3 points on the other end (29th). Smith can add more to a potent offense and help fix a struggling defense. 

In the half-court offense, Smith is a dynamic player that can post up, drive strongly to the basket or spot up for a mid-range jumper. 

Although, what goes somewhat unnoticed about Smith is his passing ability as a power forward. He is averaging five assists a game in the month of February, and by putting him with other multiple-threat players like James Harden and Jeremy Lin, he should only get better.

Defensively, Smith's 6'9" athletic frame can cause a lot of problems.

Houston only averages 4.1 blocks a game (27th) and Smith's 2.15 blocks a game (seventh) would certainly help its defensive presence out.

Also, blocked shots can lead to transition baskets the other way. On a Rockets team that thrives on running the floor, Smith would fit in perfectly with his electrifying play and strength above the rim. 

The Rockets sent a message to the NBA in the offseason with their additions of Harden, Lin and Omer Asik. 

According to HoopsHype.com, Harden is the only player with a contract guaranteed after the 2014-15 season. Lin and Asik are due to make $5 million this season, $5.25 million next year and just under $15 million in 2014-15. 

There are no other significant contracts.

If the Houston front office can figure out the 2014-15 season and can figure out a team option with Chandler Parsons for under $1 million through 2014-15, then the Rockets organization can figure out a  chance to land Smith.

If they do, the Rockets will be making a run in the playoffs. 

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