If Marcus Camby is going to win an NBA title this coming season, it will not be with the Miami Heat. Instead, the 17-year veteran center is Houston bound once again according to multiple reports.
As expected, Camby will sign a one-year contract with the Houston Rockets for the $1.4 million minimum after narrowing down his final three teams last week to Miami, Houston and Chicago, since clearing waivers from the Toronto Raptors.
At 6-foot-11, the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2007) will provide a valuable service, both with his ability to rebound and block shots despite playing a very limited role with the New York Knicks last season.
Now in his second stint with the Rockets (he appeared in 19 games with 13 starts, and averaged 7.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game during the 2012 season), Camby is set to show he can regain that form and holds career averages of 9.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game (973 games).
The kicker here: Camby will also serve as a mentor to Dwight Howard, the Rockets $88-million dollar man.
By signing Camby, the Rockets now present a front-line of Camby, Howard, Omer Asik and Greg Smith, which could become a blessing or a curse depending on how head coach Kevin McHale plans to divvy-up the minutes and roles, particularly when it comes to the juggling of Asik, Camby and Smith.
While the pending free-agency of Franciso Garcia leaves the Rockets’ roster incomplete at this time, Houston has undoubtedly made significant progress this offseason to catapult them to the top of the Western Conference along with San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Along with adding Howard, Houston signed free-agent point Aaron Brooks (who was traded from the Rockets to the Phoenix Suns in the 2010-11 season), forward Omri Casspi and drafted guard Isaiah Canaan (Murray State) and forward Robert Covington (Tennessee State), it is Camby who provides the most extensive experience to Houston’s revamped roster.
And if the Rockets plan to lift-off to the NBA Finals this season, they’ll need all the leadership they can get.