Recap: Carroll signed with the Rockets in mid-February after being bought out by the Spurs. The team brought him to Houston to provide some depth in the frontcourt and improve the defense for the small-ball era. However, Carroll played sparingly, seeing action in just six games before the suspension of the season and just five games during the seeding games and playoffs in Orlando.
Carroll averaged 6 points per game and 2.7 rebounds per game in nine appearances for the Rockets.
2021 Outlook: Carroll is a free agent this offseason, and it’s hard to imagine that someone who played as sparingly as Carroll would be re-signed and play a good chunk of minutes next season. However, with a new coach, I think it is possible.
There’s a reason the Rockets brought Carroll to Houston. There is value in him and he’s a good fit if the Rockets wish to continue their small-ball philosophy. Carroll’s lack of minutes contributed to the fact that the season suspension came at such an inopportune time for him. It also doesn’t help that Mike D’Antoni loves to crunch his rotation to the absolute smallest core, which pushed Carroll on the outside looking in.
Perhaps a new coach would appreciate Carroll’s veteran leadership and unique size and play him. The roster has to be filled with 15 guys at the minimum, and with COVID still lingering in the background for next season, there’s a chance the rosters could be expanded to the 17-man limit it had in the bubble. People need to fill out the roster, and Carroll might be a candidate to wear Rockets red in 2021.
No team is signing Carroll for more than the veteran’s minimum next season, so if he plays next season, it will likely be with a team that has several max contracts that need some minimum contracts to balance out the roster.