Dominican’s Francisco Garcia goes up for a block during the 2013 FIBA tournament
Houston Rockets swingman Francisco Garcia was a throw-in during last season’s February trade that brought Thomas Robinson to Houston from the Sacramento Kings. However, the veteran became the most valuable piece of that trade for the Rockets, as he made a huge contribution in the playoffs.
Garcia averaged 10.7 points, while shooting 46 percent from the 3-point line in the 6-game playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The former Louisville standout also started 3 games in the series, filling in for an injured Jeremy Lin, and was the most effective defender on the team guarding Kevin Durant.
After initially declining Garcia’s option for the upcoming season, the Rockets re-signed him to a one-year deal for the veterans minimum, with an option for a second year. His versatility and experience was a great fit, as the Rockets now look to build around both James Harden and Dwight Howard.
Taking part in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for the Dominican Republic, Garcia has continued to be a consistent player. Through 4 games, he is averaging 10 points, and 2.3 rebounds in 28 minutes per game, while playing solid defensive: he’s actually leading the Dominican team with 1.8 blocks per game.
While he’s shot a meager 33 percent from the field in the preliminaries, expect Garcia to bring that nice outside touch to the Rockets once training camp begins. As one of the few veteran voices on the Rockets roster, Garcia will play an important role this season.
The Dominican team is currently 2-2, and are scheduled to play Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Uruguay to finish out the preliminary round.