The Houston Rockets have decided to go all-in on small ball. They traded away they’re only capable center in Clint Capela for a wing player in Robert Covington before the trade deadline this season.
The Rockets feel that they can space the floor better than any other team and make it rain from downtown. They don’t seem to be changing their style of play anytime soon, so they might be looking to add more players that fit their system next season.
Luckily for them, there are a few players that are available in the free-agent market that can play vital minutes for them next season. Here are the best targets for the Houston Rockets this summer.
10. Glenn Robinson III
To start, Glenn Robinson III is not the player the Rockets might want at first glance. He has been a bench player for his whole career and is not known as a lockdown defender. But he still brings shooting and athleticism that can be valuable in stretches, either during garbage minutes or to give the main players some rest. Robinson III is shooting 37.3% from three over his career.
9. Langston Galloway
Galloway is another role player who has not moved the needle much during his NBA career, but can shoot it from three at a nice clip. Galloway has a tendency to get hot, and he can be a bench player behind Russ and Rivers at the point guard spot. Galloway shoots a career 36.7% from three, so he can be a nice fit off the bench.
8. Marco Belinelli
The Italian sharpshooter isn’t much of a defender, but he can be a role player who can shoot the lights out when he’s hot. The Rockets might look like they have enough shooting, but they need someone who can be effective when they go through cold stretches from deep. Marco Belinelli (37.6% from three) can be a useful addition to shore up the Rockets bench when they are rotating their players.
7. Maurice Harkless
The value of Harkless was shown with the Trail Blazers last season, as he was one of the most impactful players for the Blazers as they reached the Western Conference Finals last year. Harkless is an excellent defensive player who can hit the outside shot and is a perfect Rockets player when you consider his size and versatility.
6. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Hollis-Jefferson is a strong defender and versatile stopper who can legitimately defend 3 or 4 positions. Hollis-Jefferson is not a great shooter, but he can play valuable minutes during stretches to get defensive stops when Houston need them most. Hollis-Jefferson will need target practice, but he can potentially be an effective Rockets player.
5. Derrick Jones Jr.
Jones Jr is an athletic freak who is developing his very raw game. Jones was known as just a fantastic dunker for the All-Star Game but is developing his outside shooting and overall game slowly. Jones Jr. might still need more time to develop his overall game, but Houston might give him a shot as a lanky defender and improving shooter.
4. Alec Burks
Burks is not a household name in the NBA, but he has had a decent career as a scorer off the bench. Burks brings size and athleticism to the wing position, along with a versatile offensive skill set. Burks is not a deadeye shooter of the highest order, but he is good enough to be a consistent threat from beyond (36.4% from three for his career). His size and athleticism can help him become a better defender with Houston.
3. Bryn Forbes
Forbes is a Spurs product player who has come through the ranks in the NBA as an offensive player. While he is a smaller guard that isn’t necessarily a defensive stopper, he brings excellent three-point shooting (38.8%) to the table. The Rockets have a tendency to go very cold from the perimeter, so Forbes brings exceptional consistency from three so Houston might pounce at that prospect this summer.
2. Josh Jackson
Josh Jackson has excellent potential as a defensive wing player. He stands 6’8″ with a 6’10” wingspan, although he has not shown what he can really do on the court so far. Jackson was not given much of a chance with the Suns but was given some opportunity with the Grizzlies. Jackson was relegated to the G-League this season, but the Rockets should give him a chance. He only averaged 9.0 PPG this entire year, but the young man can be molded into a very effective two-way player.
1. Jae Crowder
When it comes to a perfect Rockets player, Jae Crowder is the name that fits best. He is a strong wing player who can guard the perimeter and the paint while adding dead-eye shooting from deep. Crowder has shown he can be valuable to a team’s defense this season with the Miami Heat, so he can do the same for the Houston Rockets. Crowder is averaging 10.5 PPG this season and needs a team like Houston to continue to prosper.