Assuming the Rockets fail to land Pau Gasol or Dwight Howard, and accepting that Kyle Lowry's improvement has made pursuing Deron Williams less of a priority, what free agents will Daryl Morey & co. try to land this summer? It's early, but here are some players to keep an eye on. (Relying on this list.)
Andre Miller (Unrestricted) Yes, he will be 36 years old, but his game has aged well, he has experience playing in two point guard sets, so he can play alongside Lowry, and he can run the second unit efficiently, providing a steady hand to help the Rockets' young players develop.
Kirk Hinrich (Unrestricted) Remember him? He'll be 32, and is coming off injuries, but he should still be able to shoot the 3, play some defense, and run a second unit. He should also be affordable because of aforesaid injuries, and the number of point guards hitting free agency this summer.Wings
O.J. Mayo (Restricted) Because of the Randolph, Gay, Conley, and Gasol contracts, Memphis might not be able to afford Mayo, who has been in every trade rumor involving the Grizzlies for the past two years. Even though he's disappointed as a pro, he's not a bad player. For his career, he's averaged almost 17-4-3 per 36 minutes, and he's a decent defender and 3 point shooter (38%). There might be a bargain to be had here. This signing becomes much more likely if Martin is traded.
Gerald Wallace (Player Option) He'll be 30, and looking for his last big payday. He'll give you a fairly efficient 15-7 with his trademark defense and intensity and is definitely an upgrade over Budler Parsinger. Even though a team with Lowry, Wallace, and Dalembert would be tough every night, this move probably makes more sense in conjunction with a move for a big man.
Omer Asik (Unrestricted) The Bulls already have 76 million committed for 2013. Asik has averaged almost 12 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per 36 minutes for his career so far. He's comparable to DeAndre Jordan, a little better defensively, not quite as good offensively, who is making 10 million this year. Will the Bulls match a 4/40 offer? Is Asik (26 next year) worth it?
Ian Mahinmi (Unrestricted) Finally getting some burn this year as Brendan Haywood's backup, Mahinmi is averaging a super efficient 15 and 9+ per 36 minutes this year. He's not nearly as good defensively as Asik, but he's decent, and can be a slightly lesser, younger version of Nene (26 next year).
None of these players would propel the Rockets to a championship, but all would make the team better, which fits with the front office's stated goal of improving the team while retaining roster flexibility.
(My first fanpost here, constructive feedback welcomed and encouraged,)
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