Ever since the signing of Jeremy Lin, the Rockets have been very quiet. That ended yesterday after they signed veteran swingman Carlos Delfino to a one-year deal with a club option for a second season. Delfino played very well for the Milwaukee Bucks last season. He also just got done helping Argentina in the Olympics where he was impressive as well. This deal most likely means the end of Kevin Martin’s career as a Rocket is coming soon.
I’m not a big fan of this deal even though i’m a fan of Delfino’s game. The Rockets are in a rebuilding mode and Delfino’s services just don’t make sense for this franchise. He will be 30 years old by the time next season starts. He will be even older when the Rockets are relevant in the Western Conference again. My only guess is that maybe the Rockets front office sees him as a leader for the young guys? I don’t see that at all. Nothing against Delfino, but he’s been on mostly losing teams his entire career.
With all that being said Delfino is a very productive player. Parsons has the starting small forward spot locked up for years to come, which is where Delfino has played most of his career. I can see Carlos sliding over to the starting shooting guard position for next season while Jeremy Lamb gets himself acclimated to the NBA style of play. Delfino is a great role player. If the Rockets struggle next season like i expect them to, the Rockets could use Delfino as trade bait.
Last season for the Bucks Delfino started 53 games and came off the bench in just one game. He has a lot of experience in both roles, which is very valuable to any team. He averaged 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.5 steals in 28 minutes a game. I see him having a similar role with the Rockets. He shot 40% from the field and 36% from deep. He will be a nice addition for Lin, who can drive to the hoop and find Delfino in the corner. Delfino is a very streaky shooter, but when he’s on he can be very deadly. Delfino’s defense is also above average. His hands always seem to find the ball.
The Rockets now have 21 total players on their roster. Multiple players will need to be cut or traded in time for the season to start. It seems very obvious the Rockets are not done making deals. Players like Martin, Marcus Morris and others could be dealt very soon. The Rockets may not make the playoffs next season, but they’re definitely keeping everything interesting.