Now I strongly commend Patrick Patterson for being one of the hardest workers on the team, most of that coming from his military backround, but when you're just not producing and playing at the level of a lottery player then I believe it's time for you to get put down in the rotation. Patterson would be a great spark off the bench, much like Carl Landry was for us a while back. There are a few solutions I have to fixing our problem at the 4.
Terrence Jones - When he was a freshmen at Kentucky all the announcers raved about this kid! "He is the most pro-ready player" "Have you seen this kid? He's built for the NBA". They are correct and two years later he's put on more muscle and has become more polished. TJ may not have ideal 4 height like Patterson but he's a lot more stronger than Patterson and is a lot better at timing his jumps for rebounding and blocks. He's also been known to step out and knock down a J as far as the three ball.
Fit - 8/10
Likelyhood - 5/10
Marcus Morris - Marcus has been playing pretty well this season so far and it's good to see that, especially when he spent the majority of his time last season as a Rio Grand Valley Viper rather as a Houston Rocket. Morris' talent has never been the question it's always been about him being a "tweener". I for one am still a little upset about drafting him over Kahwi Leonard but hey, what can you do? Marcus' production has gone up but it's more because of James Harden getting double teamed then finding Marcus open for a lay-up than Marcus going to work on his own. Morris to me will always a 3 and not a 4 due to his lack of height, strength to hold his own on the block, and he just flat out wants to be a 3.
Fit - 3/10
Likelyhood - 4/10
Donatas Motiejunas - The Lithuanian sensation otherwise known as "D-Mo" has seen virtually no time outside of his 3 minutes in the blow out vs Detroit the other night. He's currently buried in the rotation and many are left asking why. McHale feels for whatever reason that Donatas is not ready to receive proper minutes. I for one don't agree with coach McHale! In fact, I believe Donatas is the best fit for the starting 4 in our team. He's a 7 footer with great quickness and rebounding instincts with Pau Gasol like court vision. He can also step out and hit a shot which will lead to defenders leaving the paint to guard him and open up Asik for more offensive rebounds. Donatas will definitely need to bulk up if he expects to hang with the likes of Amare', Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and co. The only downfall I see in D-Mo is his arrogance/cockiness and his lack of strength.
Fit - 9/10
Likelyness - 6/10
Royce White - Royce, in essence would be a great fit at the 4 with his relentless attitude but he hasn't been at most of the games due to his infamous Anxiety disorder. I really feel for the kid who just wants to play ball but due to his disorder, that's just not really in the cards right now. Royce is a good rebounder with great court awareness but like every other forward on our team he's undersized in the height department but his weight is definitely not an issue. Weighing at 250, White is no little guy. He could definitely hang with most of them with his low center of gravity and ability to locate the ball. The only knack I have on Royce is that when he was in college, he was THE ONLY MAN. Ball was in his hands 90% of the time and in the NBA its definitely not going to be like that. When he doesn't have the ball he looks lost and doesn't really know how to get involved so I suggest he learns and maybe he could be our future 4.
Fit - 7/10
Likelyness - 6/10
Paul Millsap - If you watch Houston basketball then you know who Paul Millsap is. Every time the Rockets play the Jazz, Millsap destroys us in every true essence of the word. He can do pretty much everything on the floor and can do it well. Now the only way we would be able to acquire Paul Millsap would be through trade and still have some extra assets we could be able to give up in order to get him. I for one believe that the Jazz would be willing to give up Paul because of their youthful frontcourt depth including top picks Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter along with highflying Jeremy Evans. All three have shown great production and with Millsap on the final year of his deal and looking to be leaving via free agency, they might like to get something in return. Paul Millsap doesn't only fill up the stat sheet but he he's been to the post season 5 times and has only missed 8 games in his 6 year career. We're very familiar with what's its like to have injury prone players, Paul is not one and he provides great experience.
Fit - 9/10
Likelyhood - 8/10
Paul Millsap stats 2011-12: 16ppg 9rbg 2apg 2spg 1blk 50%fg 79%ft
Possible trade: Hou receives - Paul Millsap Utah receives - Toney Douglas, Patrick Patterson 2014 2nd round pick.
Opens up room in frontcourt for Houston to give TJ and D-Mo more time while acquiring Millsap.
Jazz get Patrick who is still on his rookie deal and will be a great spark for their second unit. Toney provides outside shooting which they need.
Josh Smith - This is more an "in the future possibility" due to the fact what we can offer probably won't be enough to interest Atlanta in sending him to us outright and immediately. The good news is Josh Smith is a free agent at the end of the season and we have great cap space to make him an offer he won't refuse. Josh Smith provides great athleticism, strength, all around defense, and leadership. For the past few seasons Josh has been the leader on his Atlanta Hawks though he's been quite unhappy, he still goes out every night and gives 110%. Josh Smith isn't the dream acquisition like a Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum but he can definitely contribute to the Rockets "New look" feel to the team. Josh Smith is still only 26 though being an 8 year pro (Coming out of high school will do it for you) and like Millsap, he's made a trip to the post-season 5 times. His combination of high flying dunks/blocks and leadership/experience will pay dividends for seasons to come if he is signed.
Fit - 8/10
Likelyhood - 6/10
Josh Smith stats 2011-12: 19ppg 10rbg 4apg 1spg 2bpg 46%fg 63%ft
Possible acquisition: Via Free Agency
UPDATE! (I forgot) Al Jefferson - The other Utah Jazz man looks to be on his way out as well, due to the aforementioned frontcourt logjam the Jazz currently have. Now, I'd definitely have to say this is my personal preference when looking outside of the organization. Big Al is just that, big, while standing at a good 6'10 and weighing 290lbs his huge frame is undeniable and will clog the paint and bring in more rebounds for Asik and himself. Al is true 'back to the basket' player and something we've been missing for quite some time in Houston. The biggest thing I think Al provides is his versatility. He can play alongside Asik and start at the 4 and when Asik comes off, he can shift to the 5 and play just as effective with TJ, D-Mo or whoever McHale chooses to bring on. However, like Smith, Al would only be able to be acquired through free agency but lucky for us his 15million dollar deal expires at the end of the season. At a respectable 27 years of age, Al still has time to be a big piece in Houston for years to come if he opts to sign with us. He is the best acquisition for us I think.
Fit - 9/10
Likelyhood - 8/10
2011-12 stats: 19ppg 10rpg 2apg 1.7bpg 1spg 49%fg 77%ft
In conclusion, I believe that we should try and stay in house first by giving TJ, Royce, and D-Mo their fair shot at being the starting 4 even though all three are in their first NBA season. If we don't have to go out and deplete our depth or spend big money on a name like Josh Smith or Al Jefferson I'm all for it! With that said, I think something needs to happen fast because we aren't the kind of team that can sacrifice wins in order to try and figure things out. Wins are precious in Houston, especially when we haven't made the playoffs in three years. McHale, Morey, and Leslie Alexander know this. Time is of the essence and with Miami up next, I don't see us holding in house try-outs against the reigning champs. It's have to wait I suppose.