Houston Rockets: Where Do They Stand In The West?

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Jun 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Clint Capela (Switzerland) shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number twenty-five overall pick to the Houston Rockets in the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New Additions

Now that we’ve accounted for the losses properly, but how about the gains? We’ve already talked about how big of an impact Trevor Ariza and his defense will have on this team but what about the others? The non-guaranteed deals and the young talent are certainly looking forward to what they can bring to this team and we are very excited to see just how much of an impact they can make this season in Houston.

Let’s start with the veterans added to this team. Houston signed 30-year-old free agent center Joey Dorsey to a two year deal. Daryl Morey is very much sold on Dorsey and has said that he “has become the best defensive big in Europe and was voted the best defender on a Euroleague champion team.”  You can definitely picture Dorsey playing the backup forward behind Jones and alongside Donatas Motiejunas who will probably be seeing minutes at backup center position.

The Rockets also agreed to a one-year deal with 28-year-old forward Jeff Adrien. This was considered a steal considering they signed him for the veteran’s minimum and he averaged an impressive 15.6 points and 11.1 rebounds per 36 minutes with the Bucks. He averaged 6.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

Although it will be difficult to see Adrien crack the power forward position, given how undersized he is (6’7″) you can possibly see him battling it out for the backup small forward position with veteran Francisco Garcia and rookie Kostas Papanikolaou. These veterans can certainly find their way into the rotation and contribute significantly on defense, but again, we have yet to see if any of these players are going to find their way into the rotation.

In come the young guns. Guards Nick Johnson and Troy Daniels definitely have fans excited; however, only one of them will likely crack the role of backup shooting guard and the other one will probably be spending time playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Daniels showed he can certainly answer the call when he hit the game winning shot against the Portland Trailblazers in Game 3 after an already impressive shooting display. Johnson, the star guard out of the University of Arizona, turned a lot of heads after his performance in Summer League after which people where flustered as to why he was drafted so low.

Then there is the matter of newly-acquired forwards Clint Capela and Kostas Papanikolaou. Capela has drawn comparisons to Serge Ibaka in terms of his style of play.  However, it will likely be a while before you see him suit up in a Rockets uniform. The young forward is still very raw offensively meaning he still has a long way to grow but his upside is pretty high. However, the Rockets will more than likely let him develop in the Valley playing for the Vipers.  Papanikolaouthis young man has been generating excitement for the Rockets since he was acquired in a trade for Thomas Robinson in 2013 and now he’s finally ready to be a part of the team. Expect him to be the frontrunner for the backup small forward position especially since the Rockets granted him with nearly the full mid-level exception (MLE) for two years with the second year being non-guaranteed.