Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Troy Daniels (30) reacts after making a basket during the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Recently in a blog on RealGM.com Johnathan Tjarks addressed how the Rockets Build depth on their bench. Tjarks pointed out how the Rockets do a good job of finding players off the street and getting back more from them then they thought they would. He also pointed out how Houston’s front office doesn’t just look at NBA guys to build depth they take chances on guys they may find from overseas as well.
The Rockets have been known as a team around the league that uses every resource available to them when comes to building depth for their bench. Sometimes you may hear about a stranger on the Rockets bench that ends up turning into a gem for the team a most recent example is Patrick Beverley.
During the free agency period this year the rockets lost quite a few rotational pieces from last year. They sent Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik away via trade and lost Chandler Parsons to free agency. With that being said, the Rockets will have to find a way to make up for the production lost between those three players. Houston’s front office will search high and low for guys eager to contribute to an NBA team.
When it comes to finding contributors for the bench, the Rockets look further than just the NBA they do a fair share of homework of guys overseas as well. Patrick Beverley is one of the most recent. Beverley was a second round pick in the 2008 NBA draft by the heat and was eventually cut and had taken his career overseas for a little hoping for another shot at the
Apr 27, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) elbows Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews (2) in game four of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
NBA again. The Rockets provided the opportunity for Beverley and to say the least it has more than paid off. He is the Rockets best perimeter defender as a result earning him a place on the NBA All-Defensive second.
Troy Daniels is another player Houston has seemed to grab their hands on. Coming into the league undrafted in 2013 as a senior out of VCU Daniels didn’t have many teams banging down the door to get to him. Daniels is strictly a shooter he was one of the best in the country in college and one of the best in the D-league.
Though he is a superb shooter, Houston’s front office knew that he could make a difference for the team off of the bench. Kevin McHale gave Daniels a shot and it paid off, as he hit a game-winning three for Houston in game 3 of the playoffs against Portland and followed that with a strong performance in game 4, scoring 17 points on seven field goal attempts.
Not only will Daniels be a good asset to the Rockets bench this season he also looks like he could be a future NBA three-point champion as well.
When you snag rotational guys, it’s not always guaranteed that it will work out. Players off the street won’t cost you an asset but at the same time they could become a very valuable one to your team in the end if given the chance. Tjarks had this to say about it:
However, for teams looking to round out their bench, the upside of looking under every nook and cranny for talent is clear. Alan Anderson, Gerald Green, Chris Copeland, Anthony Parker, Pero Antic – the list of NBA rotation players who played in the European leagues grows every year. They don’t cost much money, and they don’t cost anything in terms of assets. That’s what a lot of teams don’t understand – there’s no shortage of professional basketball players out there.
Every team has it or misses when it comes to finding bench talent, but the Houston front office can say as of late they have found more hits than misses.
Apr 16, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Jeff Adrien (12) and forward Chris Wright (15) reach for a rebound during the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Atlanta won 111-103. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Rockets signed Joey Dorsey, Jeff Adrien, and Ish Smith to add depth to the bench this year. Any or all of the trio could end up being very valuable contributors. Also, the Rockets drafted Clint Capela and Nick Johnson to add more depth to the bench let’s see if the Rockets can hit on this group this year.
Capela may be a bit away from being ready as a rotational player, but Johnson may get minutes from day one, given his ability to play both guard spots. Long term, Capela figures to be a force given his length and athleticism, but he needs some culturing in the weight room. Johnson, nephew of Celtics legend Dennis Johnson, is breathtaking at the rim and should be able to pester guards defensively in short stretches off the bench.