The following is a list of 2016 free agent centers, which is an area the Houston Rockets may need to add talent especially if Dwight Howard walks. Sure they’ve got a young Clint Capela on tap, but they’ll need more help to fill Howard’s minutes. .
Now that it appears the Houston Rockets will hire Mike D’Antoni it’s highly likely Dwight Howard will walk and/or won’t be offered a contract. Further, it’s time for the team to buckle down and to figure out who they should pick in the upcoming draft and begin the work to target free agents. Though GM Daryl Morey will make the roster moves ideally he should be working with input from D’Antoni.
Further the style of play a head coach brings and his personal relationship with players can work for or against a club. Hence, it’s likely Dwight Howard will be gone, but given D’Antoni has literally quit on teams in the past there may be other players who don’t want to play for him again (case in point: Dwight Howard).
Space City Scoop has been focused on year end analysis and draft prospects as you’ve seen on the site. After the draft we’ll dig into the free agent market with vigor.
For now we wanted to give you a sneak peak of the available talent this summer. To that end SCS is bringing a full list of all free agents by position for this summer.
Next up are the centers, conceivably a position the Houston Rockets may trade current assets, so may need to fill those gaps or upgrade:
- Cole Aldrich, PO, Clippers
- Chris Andersen, Grizzlies
- Jeff Ayres, Clippers
- Bismack Biyombo, PO, Raptors
- Tarik Black, RFA, Lakers
- Matt Bonner, Spurs
- Elton Brand, 76ers
- Dewayne Dedmon, RFA, Magic
- Andre Drummond, RFA, Pistons
- Tim Duncan, PO,Spurs
- Festus Ezeli, RFA, Warriors
- Pau Gasol PO, Bulls
- Roy Hibbert, Lakers
- J.J. Hickson, Wizards
- Jordan Hill, Pacers
- Al Horford PF, Hawks
- Dwight Howard, PO, Rockets
- Al Jefferson, Hornets
- Chris Kaman, Blazers
- Ian Mahinmi, Pacers
- Boban Marjanovic, RFA, Spurs
- Nazr Mohammed, Thunder
- Timofey Mozgov, Cavs
- Joakim Noah, Bulls
- Zaza Pachulia, Mavs
- Kendrick Perkins, Pelicans
- Miles Plumlee, RFA, Bucks
- Robert Sacre, Lakers
- Kevin Seraphin, Knicks
- Henry Sims, Nets
- Jason Smith, Magic
- Marreese Speights, Warriors
- Amar’e Stoudemire, Heat
- Jason Thompson, Raptors
- Anderson Varejao, Warriors
- Hassan Whiteside, Heat
- Tyler Zeller, Celtics
Acronyms: PO = Player Option, TO = Team Option, RFA = Restricted Free Agent
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Including Howard there are 8 solid center options this summer. Noah is likely to either return to the Bulls or end up in Minnesota to work with his beloved Thibodeau. Drummon, Gasol and Ezeli will also likely want to resign with their current teams. Some reports say Whiteside is keen to return to Miami while others note the Heat may be willing to part ways.
Horford will be highly sought out (with the Rockets likely to be one of his pursuers) as he offers the ability to play center or power forward, can defend, hit from the perimeter and is an able passer. The Raptors don’t own the bird rights to Biyombo, but will do everything in their power to keep the Republic of Congo center who has been a revelation to most in the post season.
Suffice to say that makes Howard’s stock very hire as there simply aren’t enough big men with the ability to produce double-doubles on a nightly basis. A team like Boston could be interested, the Heat may welcome him to south beach or even his old team the Magic may be interested. Wherever he goes I’d say the signing of D’Antoni was the franchise letting him know he’s gone without ever saying a word.
In the coming weeks following the wrap up of the SCS Draft Prospect Series the next major series the writers will tackle is Free Agents. Specifically the series will look at individuals and dive into which players make sense for the Houston Rockets to target, who might be a logical fit for a low end contract and which major free agents should receive the Rockets priority focus. For now, the above list provides the comprehensive picture.
Make sure you check out the current Space City Scoop series including our year end player analysis, draft prospects worthy of Rockets picking or trading for, our best of reader/fan posts and our end of season Rockets Round Table:
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