It is hard to argue against Marcus Camby’s 17-year NBA career and the experience he brings to any team in the league at 39 years old.
So do not just assume this is another roster filler free-agent signing that is about to go down over the next few days.
Far from it.
Camby cleared waivers Sunday after having his contract bought out last week by the Toronto Raptors and is apparently targeting Miami, Houston and Chicago as teams on his short-list and is expected to make his decision this week. The question now becomes, will the veteran center chase a ring with the Heat or Rockets?
Right now, all signs are pointing toward Houston.
The 6-11 Camby would bring shot-blocking prowess to the Heat, who tend to play small-ball when LeBron James shifts over to power forward and the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2007) would serve a valuable service, but Houston is a little different story. Not only does he bring those attributes to the Rockets, but Camby would also serve as a mentor to Dwight Howard.
Having said that, it is hard not to be impressed with what Houston has accomplished this offseason and there is no doubt the addition of Howard and his four-year, $88 million deal with the Rockets shoots them to top of the Western Conference alongside San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Inking Camby would only solidify their star-filled offseason, even if that means scrapping for playing time alongside Howard and Omer Asik.
For Camby, there is simply a comfort level with the Rockets.
"If Marcus becomes a free agent as we expect Sunday the Rockets are a leading contender for where he'll end up next season,” Camby’s agent Rick Kaplan told Mark Berman of MyFoxHouston.com.
“He had a very positive experience there. He'd be a great fit with the organization. It's his adopted hometown. It's premature right now.We'll see what happens in the next few days.”
It would be Camby’s second go-around in Houston after he appeared in 19 games (13 starts) and averaged 7.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game during the 2011-12 season. And while he played a very limited role last season with the New York Knicks, Camby holds career averages of 9.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game (973 games).