Chris Paul is out for a month, and Houston is on the lookout for a temporary replacement.
The Rockets can go in several different directions, but each one brings its pros and cons. Houston can go for an established veteran, familiar face, or look in-house. The team was looking for possible depth before the season, but now with CP3 out a while, the need for a point guard has heightened.
Here’s a look-through of some of Houston’s options:
Get-a-vet: Sign Leandro Barbosa
When it came out that Houston was looking for a point guard, Barbosa immediately came to my mind. He played on two Western Conference championship teams in Golden State in 2015 and 2016 and played last season for a rebuilding Phoenix squad.
Barbosa’s biggest successes in the league probably stem from his first stint with the Suns in the Six Seconds or Less offense headed by coach Mike D’Antoni. Barbosa’s familiarity with the system makes him a flashy candidate for the position, but not necessarily the best. He’s also familiar with playing with his Brazilian bestie Nene as they have been playing on the national team together for years.
Barbosa turns 35 next month and was not in training camp with a team this fall, so it might not be best option for Houston to pick up a guy off the street after no basketball since April.
However, last year he had some bright spots for the Suns. In a game last December, he scored 21 points with five threes in a game vs. the Lakers. He shot 35.7 percent from three last year and is a 38.7 percent career shooter.
If Barbosa is signed, it will show that Houston is only looking for a guy for now, not for the future. Chances are if Barbosa comes to Houston that he will be gone once Paul returns. But he is possibly the best system fit for Houston among all the potential options.
Bring Isaiah Canaan home
Ever since Canaan was traded to Philadelphia for K.J. McDaniels, he has been itching to come back to H-Town.
Canaan reportedly had interest in coming to Houston on a camp deal last year.
Quick FA note: Guard Isaiah Canaan watching Rockets from front row. Yes, he'd like to come back. And yes, Rockets and his reps have talked.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 11, 2016
Since he left Houston, Canaan has bounced around the association, playing for the Sixers, Bulls, and Thunder. Oklahoma City waived him before the season began and he’s looking for a new place to call home. Why not make things full circle and return home?
Canaan is not a longterm option, but that is not what he would be signed for. He’s a serviceable guard who would play no more than 12 minutes off the bench for a few weeks. And to add a guy that is familiar with playing alongside James Harden and Trevor Ariza would be an added benefit.
He started a playoff game last year for Chicago after Rajon Rondo was injured, so he has played in some important NBA action recently.
If Canaan is signed, it would be a way to boost team chemistry. He would be able to ease in a little easier than others.
Split the two-way guys
So far, Demetrius Jackson has been picking up the load and filling in for Chris Paul. He’s been decent in the first two games of his assignment, but not spectacular.
Jackson is on a two-way contract, a new add to the NBA this season. Two-way contracts are specifically for G-League players and allow a player to be on the main roster for up to 45 days. The 45 days, however, does not begin until November 3, the day the G-League season begins.
With Paul out for approximately a month, it is unsure how long Jackson will be up with the team past November 3. The Rockets might not want to waste his duration early in the season for fear they could need him later on in the year.
However, the Rockets might not need to use the whole 45 days on just Jackson. The team also signed journeyman guard Briante Weber to a contract, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
Sources: Free agent guard Briante Weber agrees on a two-way deal with the Houston Rockets. https://t.co/HwDuj2EnVQ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 23, 2017
Weber will start out in Rio Grande Valley with the Vipers, but like Jackson, will also have a maximum of 45 days of eligibility on the Rockets’ roster. They could alternate back and forth with Jackson and Weber to fill the void of the backup point guard position until CP3 comes back healthy.
With Houston’s signing of Weber, it looks like the Rockets have made their decision, but there is a chance that the team could make another move. Weber’s signing does not count towards the 15-man roster count, which means there is still a roster spot open.
Perhaps Houston could still use that spot for a veteran or stick by the guys they have and roll with it. The Rockets are 3-0 currently and certainly do not have as many issues as other teams in the league.
Who should the Rockets sign?
This poll is closed
Nobody! Keep Jackson & Weber
Other (mention in comments)