According to multiple reports, the Houston Rockets will bring back Marcus Camby to backup Dwight Howard today, solidifying a veteran group of centers that looks to be one of the deepest in the league. Camby had long been rumored to join the Rockets after being bought out by the Raptors, but today he will make it official, spurning the Heat and Bulls in the process.
Camby is a resident of Pearland, and with his children getting older and his career winding down, deciding to come back home makes a lot of sense. On top of that, Camby now joins a team that needs a veteran influence, but won't ask too much of him on the floor.
Essentially, Camby will become what Dikembe Mutombo was to the Rockets in the mid-2000's. His offensive game has dwindled year by year, but he can still help with size inside to block shots and grab rebounds. More importantly, he will give a group of young big men another veteran influence to help mentor them and learn how to play the game the right way.
It hasn't been reported yet, but with Camby likely signing for the league minimum, the Rockets will almost certainly retain their room exception to sign another free agent should a top veteran be bought out during the season looking for a new home. And with just 14 players having guaranteed deals going into training camp, he's not going to be taking anybody's roster spot (sorry, Robert Covington).
And though it's fun to play the speculation game, this does not mean anything for Omer Asik and his future with the Rockets. Asik is a 27 year old center entering the prime of his career, and Marcus Camby is 39 and coming off a season where he made 17 field goals all year. To entrust Camby as the sole backup to Dwight Howard would be beyond silly. If the Rockets were going to move Asik, they still will, but if they had no plans to do so, this signing will not change that position one bit.
In a lot of ways, the Marcus Camby deal is like the Aaron Brooks signing. In both situations, a veteran was brought in to be an insurance piece for next to nothing, and people instantly jumped to the conclusion that this meant the incumbent starter was on the move. Instead, this is just what Daryl Morey does. He takes advantage when he can acquire players for good value. And with Marcus Camby, as a stabilizing force for the league minimum, he got a good value.