The Houston Rockets don’t have much tweaking to do this offseason but adding a starting small forward needs to be a priority. Whom? Why? Let’s examine.
Very similarly to last year, the Houston Rockets had an impressive regular season but were eventually kicked out by the Golden State Warriors.
Comparable to last year, the Houston Rockets put up a good fight against the Warriors, as each game was decided by six points or less.
The biggest issue with the Houston Rockets during that series was rebounding. But the good news was that through Games 1-5 of their playoff series with the Warriors, the team incrementally got better with it.
The rebounding issue in that series stemmed from two things. The first and more predominant issue was that Clint Capela did not own the paint like he is known to do.
Furthermore, the next issue was that Eric Gordon, currently the Houston Rockets starting small forward, only averaged about 2.5 rebounds per game. This was both in the regular season and during the playoff series with the Warriors.
With Capela being the only member of the starting lineup taller than 6-foot-6, it is key that the small forward contributes on the glass.
Additionally, with Gordon being 6-foot-4 and the average starting small forward being around 6-foot-6 to 6-foot-10, it is understandable that Gordon does not have robust rebounding numbers.
Which leads to my point. The Houston Rockets biggest need this offseason is to acquire a new starting small forward, to allow Gordon to return to his role as the 6th man.
This one move would vastly improve the Houston Rockets roster as Gordon would fortify their
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currently erratic bench and a new small forward would help the Rockets both on the glass and in terms of depth.
There are realistic options in free agency like Danny Green, Marcus Morris, Rudy Gay, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Trevor Ariza. Additionally, the team may be able to swing a trade for Nicolas Batum, C.J. Miles, and DeMarre Carroll.
Seeing that Harden’s super max contract kicks in next year, the Rockets will definitely be over the salary cap, which makes acquiring starting players quite tough.
However, the team has general manager Daryl Morey in the fray. He’s well-respected around the league and is arguably the best executive in the Association in terms of adding key players with limited cap space and assets.
The Rockets have a really good team but if they expect to win a championship they must continue to get better.
So as Rockets fans say “In Morey we trust,” I feel the same way as well.
What’s the Rockets biggest need this offseason? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.