The Houston Rockets opted to forego making a splash — small or large — during the NBA’s Thursday trade deadline. Instead, it appears that the Rockets, currently the 11 seed, seem more content strengthening their rotation via the buyout market.
Opting to not “go all in” in year one of Phase II illustrates a refreshing patience and perhaps a more realistic approach to the team’s current standing. While the team wasn’t completely silent on the trade front these past few weeks — acquiring the injured Steven Adams for the injured Victor Oladipo — they had certainly had their fair share of trade rumors. Ultimately, no other transaction came to fruition.
As for what’s out there on the buyout market, it’s still to be determined. We already know players such as Spencer Dinwiddie, Killian Hayes and Cory Joseph are available, but they don’t really fill an overwhelming need that the Rockets are searching for. Names like Kyle Lowry and Delon Wright could hit free agency, but in that, they would likely have destinations in mind already.
So who should the Rockets monitor? Per our poll, we also know that you, the fans, think a backup big man is in greater demand in favor of another shooter. We can cross off previous targets such as Kelly Olynyk and Daniel Gafford, as they were shipped elsewhere, but there are still some options out there.
Let’s take a look at some candidates.
What if I told you that the Rockets ended up acquiring a Lopez after all? Yes, I know it’s not the one we were expecting seven months ago, but we’re not really at a point where we can be too picky these days. Sideshow Bob hasn’t played many minutes over the past few seasons, but he’s still a large body capable of holding a spot on an NBA roster.
At the very least, he can offer some strength and size against the West’s stronger centers. Plus, can you imagine the dynamic duo that RoLo and Boban Marjanovic would become? I already know a podcast is in the works.
Marcus Morris Sr.
Returning to where it all started, the Rockets first round pick in 2011 could find his way into Houston’s rotation and bring some of his twinning ways to H-Town to pair with Amen Thompson.
This hasn’t been Morris Sr.’s finest season, but a change of scenery could revitalize an otherwise solid career. While he’s not the biggest guy either, what he does provide is a frontcourt player capable of taking and making shots behind the three-point line. Never short on edginess, he’s worth looking into should both sides find common ground.
I wouldn’t necessarily categorize Gallinari as a big, but he’s not small either. We should accept the height where we can get it. He’s still a member of the Detroit Pistons, but should he find his way to free agency, I wouldn’t mind the front office taking a flyer on the lethal-shooting big.
The upside with Gallo is that he would help aid one issue, that being outside shooting. I also link him to Houston because if you remember correctly, once upon a time ago, he signed with the Boston Celtics when they had a second year head coach fresh off a Finals appearance. However, that coach and Gallo never saw the court together because a) Gallinari tore his ACL before the season and b) that coach was abruptly suspended twenty days later. Just something to consider.
Now the future could hold something completely different for the Rockets, maybe a veteran requests out and becomes a darkhorse candidate, but we shall see. Let us know who your primary target would be in the comments below.