Houston Rockets: Marcus Morris would make an excellent team fit

Free agent forward Marcus Morris, a player the Houston Rockets should target (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Free agent forward Marcus Morris, a player the Houston Rockets should target (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

It’s Day 3 of NBA free agency and the Houston Rockets still need to make some sort of splash. They should look at bringing Marcus Morris back. Why? Look.

The Houston Rockets have yet to make some semblance of a splash in free agency this offseason and we’re already on Day 3.  Will something happen?  I certainly hope so but the likelihood that it’s going to be for big name diminishes as time continues to pass by.  I’m not sure if the Houston Rockets are waiting on the right opportunity — they usually step in and make it happen — or the players they’re talking to aren’t sold on playing with this team.

I know it can be a tough sell to play with the likes of James Harden and Chris Paul — they’re different breeds of NBA players — but they’re both well-respected.  However, when it comes to playing alongside them, those who are ball-dominant tend to shy away from these guys because they know they won’t see it that much.

But nonetheless, there are guys out there where such a notion wouldn’t matter and they’d still sign with the Houston Rockets, it’s just a matter of finding that player that’s a terrific fit.

The Houston Rockets also lost out on the services of Kevon Looney — who they were rumored to be targeting — after he decided to return to the Golden State Warriors on a three-year, $15 million deal.  Obviously, the two couldn’t come to an agreement and maybe Looney ultimately decided that he still wanted to be a Warrior.  It’s cool — there are other guys out there and the world won’t end because they weren’t able to nab him.

The only pertinent news for the Day 2 happenings was the Houston Rockets re-signed Austin Rivers to a two-year deal.  This deal NEEDED to happen as Rivers was a terrific complement to the team off the bench.  Just four seasons ago, I would’ve never thought that I’d be clamoring for Rivers’ services but he truly has been a huge help for this team.

His clashes with CP3 when he was with the Los Angeles Clippers while playing for his Dad — Doc Rivers — seemed to fuel a lot of animosity between the two but it’s apparent that the hatchet has been buried.

Rivers’ defense isn’t perfect at times — who’s isn’t — but what I like was that he’d get hot from the three-point line in stretches during the season down the stretch and he’d be able to carry the team during the time that he was in.  He’s also a spot-starter capable of being to carry a load of minutes just in case someone gets hurt.

The Houston Rockets haven’t had a backup point guard in goodness knows how long — Patrick Beverley isn’t a true point guard — and Rivers certainly fits the bill.

But that’s all that’s happened on the Houston Rockets front.  They’ve also brought back forward Danuel House by signing him to a three-year, $11.1 million deal and brought back Gerald Green for next season as well.

The bench is coming together but it’s now time for the team to make that splash we’ve been looking for, even though their cap situation is tighter than a frog’s butt in a body of water.

Who should the Houston Rockets target?

The Houston Rockets seriously need to see what Marcus Morris wants for his services.  He may not necessarily be high-end in terms of salary but they will almost certainly have to use the majority of their mid-level exception this season to get him signed.  It’s estimated to be between $5 and $9 million — with likely being closer to lower end — and I’m not sure if that will be enough to move the needle.

Morris should be at that point in his career where he would be ready to win a championship and his add would make this team stout on both ends of the floor.  He’s a solid scorer, can rebound the basketball effectively and defend well enough to make an impact.

His defensive rating per 100 possessions last season was 109 and in 2017-18 it was 105 which

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were both with the Boston Celtics.  So numbers do prove that he can clamp down when the time comes and I’m sure top assistant Elston Turner will be able to coach him to highest potential.

Morris made $5.4 million last season so it’s definitely feasible for the Houston Rockets to be able to afford him with the MLE.

JaVale McGee is also a great option and these two players are similar in terms of traits.  I would just imagine that Morris may be a bit more expensive than McGee so it’s just a matter of which one of these guys they can sign.  It won’t be both.

The Rockets drafted Morris back in 2011 with the 14th pick in the first round so although his stay was short, he’s finally developed to where he’s a sizable asset in this league.  The team flipped him to the Phoenix Suns for a second-round pick at the February 2013 trade deadline — it turned out to be Isaiah Canaan — so his story of rising to prominence is actually quite remarkable.

Next. Rockets: Team should bring most of the band back with tweaks. dark

Let’s hope for the best and that this team makes some sort of a splash today!

Morris, 29, averaged 13.9 points, 6.1 rebounds per game with a shooting line of .447/.375/.844 through 75 games — 53 starts — last season.