The shopping list
The most urgent need for the Rockets is a point guard, and there's only 1 highlevel PG available in free agency that I would consider, James Harden. I have no interest in Kyrie, or DLo. Though taking Harden would have to be with the understanding that he would be coming here to help facilitate what we want to do with our young talent, rather than our young guys being used as assets to bring in vets for Harden's last-ditch title attempt. But that said, if he is willing to sign a contract that declines in value over time, similar to how Chris Paul's contract was structured, I would be happy to sign him longterm.
Other than Harden, the one that has been mentioned as a trade is Trae Young, if Atlanta decides to build around Dejounte Murray instead. And because Dejounte and KPJ are close it gives them a reason to consider Houston as a trade partner. We could send them KPJ, Tate and KJ Martin in an offseason trade, all useful rotation pieces, or potentially Christopher or Garuba mixed in there, either way it would save the Hawks money. I wouldn't be too keen on this simply because Trae is such a defensive liability, but I could probably convince myself to look on the brightside of his assists, plus 3pt shooting if he actually makes them at a decent rate next season.
As for backup PG's, which we are in need of as well, there's a selection of guys that could probably be signed for cheap, can act as mentors and also split minutes with TyTy. My main list is Ish Smith, Derrick Rose and Austin Rivers, along with Pat Bev and Jevon Carter. Those last 2 might be more expensive though.
I would like to see us pick up a backup center as well, I'm not sure Garuba is suited to the role. My main choice is far and away Naz Reid, though I think Drew Eubanks is worth a look too. Both are quite versatile so I feel like we wouldn't have to change our style of play much when they come in and Sengun goes out. I can understand the want for a rim protecting more traditional centre though.
A final free agent name I'll throw out is Seth Curry. We really struggled with 3pt shooting this season, and having a knockdown shooter we can bring in off the bench would be a nice weapon to have. Not as critical as the other roles we need filled though.
I don't particularly like speculating on trades at this point but there are rumblings that we might be a destination for Jaylen Brown. I would be in favour, though I'm not sure how it would work, we don't really have players to send back while they're still in win now mode. Perhaps a 3 team trade? But a lineup of Harden, Green, Brown, Smith, and Sengun would be competitive and fun to watch.
I think we can make a good leap next season if we can get moves like these done in the offseason, but let me know your thoughts on our potential offseason moves.
Rockets players PPFGA
16/1/23 -> end of season
Boban Marjanovic: 1.363 -> 1.366
Kenyon Martin Jr: 1.220 -> 1.233
Usman Garuba: 1.144 -> 1.107
Alperen Sengun: 1.116 -> 1.130
Kevin Porter Jr: 1.017 -> 1.044
Tari Eason: 0.956 -> 0.986
Daishen Nix: 0.952 -> 0.852
Jalen Green: 0.950 -> 0.971
Jabari Smith Jr: 0.946 -> 0.951
Jae'sean Tate: 0.933 -> 1.017
Josh Christopher: 0.861 -> 0.994
TyTy Washington: 0.761 -> 0.844
So basically everyone became more productive from the floor by the end of the season, particularly Tate and Christopher who both jump up to be right under KPJ. Sengun also leapfrogged Garuba. Daishen Nix on the other hand, managed to drop all the way down to being only slightly above TyTy, and keep in mind the final number is for the whole season, not just games post-16/1, so it's pretty remarkable to drop that hard, especially since he wasn't particularly productive to begin with.