As free agency is off to a roaring start, It is evident that the Rockets plan to be active. The team has been rumored to have interest in several free-agents and the list is growing by the second. What could this mean for the players that we have developed love-hate relationships with over the last couple of seasons?
Apparently, Rockets fans are looking at a bit of an overhaul of the roster this offseason. With all the interest rumors flying around, there wouldn’t be much room for many of the familiar faces that graced the court at Toyota Center in 2015-16. This is not necessarily a bad idea considering our recent scoring woes and the fact that the team is entering into a new offensively centered game plan.
Mike D’Antoni, our new head coach, has been famous for trying to outscore his opponents with little regard for stopping them from also putting up gaudy numbers. Most notably, his Phoenix Suns teams of the 2000’s executed this strategy quite well. The thing is, his roster was full of versatile players capable of putting up the numbers.
Just to name a few, D’Antoni had access to Steve Nash, Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire during his most successful years as the Suns head coach. Basically, he had a hall-of-famer and two of the most explosive players of the era in their prime. With this being said,there are very few comparisons to be made between the Rockets current personnel and those exciting Suns teams of old.
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It would appear that Daryl Morey and the Rockets have a lot of wheeling and dealing to do in order to acquire the tools necessary for a successful season in our current system. For starters, we are down one highly effective point guard. While Patrick Beverly has been serviceable and a fan favorite, he falls short of what Steve Nash brought to the table each and every night. He was a true floor general and the offense ran through him.
Morey must be aware of this, because there has been rumored interest in Mike Conley and Patrick Beverley has been available for trade as recently as draft night. It is also rumored that the Rockets may have been be interested in bringing Jeremy Lin back into the fold before he signed with the New Jersey Nets. Although he flourished under D’Antoni in New York, I’m glad that this has not come to fruition.
Obviously, the Rockets possess one of the most prolific scorers in James Harden, but still lack the talent surrounding him to run the score up night after night. Other than Michael Beasley,I can’t think of anyone who can create their own shot effectively enough to take some of the scoring responsibility away from Harden. It is evident that the staff is aware of this, thus the rumored interest in Ryan Anderson and Kevin Durant.
Realistically, KD is a reach at best, but at least they recognize the need for elite scoring help. Personally, I feel that Nick Batum would have been a great fit. Unfortunately, he has elected to stay with the Hornets. We also have a need for big man help with the recent departure of Dwight Howard. It has been widely reported that Al Horford and Hassan Whiteside were both on Houston’s radar before Whiteside decided that Miami would continue to be his home. Either would have been nice, but Horford’s ability to score in multiple ways may prove to be more beneficial for the Rockets.
July 1st is upon us and the sweepstakes is well under way. Hopefully, the Rockets will obtain the talent necessary to adequately fill out our roster. We have around $45 million to spend and a few tradable assets to work with. Lets see if Daryl Morey can work some magic.