With the trade deadline just a few hours away the Houston Rockets have a few places on the team that need to be shored up. You can check out pieces written by Ethan on Assets and Possible Targets by Danny. Both are great pieces and should definitely read before hitting this one up.
The main spot the Rockets and Daryl Morey need to focus on at the deadline is of course the backcourt, specifically the point guard position. If you combine the play of Patrick Beverley, Nick Johnson, Jason Terry, Isaiah Canaan and Alexey Shved you have nearly a starter and a competent back up.
Shved and Johnson are both negative defenders, Canaan doesn't log enough minutes to get a solid read, Terry shockingly is a plus defender and while Beverley, the supposed best defender of the bunch, is barely a plus defender.
The combination of these backcourt players total 7.1 assists per game or just half an assist more than James Harden. The five of them just barely outscore Harden by less than a point. Yes, Harden is putting up MVP numbers this season, but there should be more production from the point guard position.
To further drive the point home, the five players are 1.3 on the +/- scale, two of which are negative players when on the court.
Conclusion: Beverley is not a starting point guard in this league. You have to love his tenacity and how much effort he gives on a nightly basis. He would just better suit the team coming off the bench for 15-20 minutes a night or simply no longer on the team.
Terry's best days are long behind him. I'm 33 years old and I first saw Jason Terry play when he was a junior in high school, when I was a 7th grader. I have much love for the JET, but he's best served in a more reduced minutes role, mentoring some of the younger guys, prepping for his future career of being on the bench. The other three should not see the court unless it's garbage time.
Ideally the guard coming in would also be able to spell Harden and take some minutes pressure off him, keeping him fresh for the playoffs.
The only other spot the Rockets could really improve is adding depth to the center position. With Dwight Howard out, Donatas Motiejunas has done a fantastic job filling in for him, but he's not on Howard's level yet. He's only had four double-doubles since becoming the Rockets interior focal point in place of Howard; in eight of those games he's had five rebounds or less.
Josh Smith has gotten some minutes at center when the Rockets go ultra small, but not enough to gauge a real impact (it's happened twice for a total of nine minutes). Where the improvement needs to come is replacing Joey Dorsey, who shouldn't be getting minutes for a team that wants to challenge for a title.
Once Howard comes back it moves Dorsey back to third center or he stays where is depending on what happens with Terrence Jones (trade or health). Regardless, there is a center on a roster out there that could be had for a 2019 second rounder.
Where do you think is the Rockets need the most help? What is their most dire need?