Since Steve Francis’ departure in 2004, it seems as if the Rockets have yet to add a solid point guard. With so many great players ready to hit the market this summer, perhaps it would be in the Rockets best interest to acquire Rajon Rondo next month.
When the Houston Rockets were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors last season, James Harden expressed a desire to have a point guard for the following year. Two months later, Houston acquired Ty Lawson from the Denver Nuggets. Teaming him alongside Harden and Dwight Howard, the Rockets seemed poised for a deep run for years to come.
It was Lawson’s duties to take the ball handling obligations away from Harden. Unfortunately after 11 games, Lawson was benched and never lived up to the expectations that brought him to Clutch City.
Although several problems were the result in their 41-41 first round exited, Houston’s disappointing season was a constant reminder of one significant issue. A lack of depth at the point guard position.
As the primary ball handler, James Harden had a solid season averaging 29 points and 6.1 rebounds. With an average of 7.5 assists, Harden led all shooting guards in assists per game. Solidifying his place as one of the league’s top playmakers.
However, as the Rockets offense runs through Harden 99 percent of the time, Houston must find another player who can help The Beard in the backcourt.
Since he arrived in Houston, Harden has ranked among the top five in turnovers four straight years in a row. This past season Harden led the league with a career-high 4.6 turnovers per game.
With the free agency period two weeks away, and the Rockets in desperate need of a floor general. An interesting debate has sparked among Rockets fans, “What point guard should the Rockets pursue this summer?”
From Deron Williams to a potential reunion with Jeremy Lin, there are a few point guards on the market who are capable of making an impact in Houston. One in particular and the headliner of the class is Grizzlies‘ Mike Conley.
Over the past month, the Rockets have not been quiet about their pursue of Conley. Honestly, I would not mind if Houston welcomed him in July. Conley is the best point guard on the market. A floor general who can make a difference offensively and defensively on any given night.
However, there is one problem. Over the past few years, injuries have plagued Conley each of the last three seasons. This year he only played in 56 games before an Achilles injury ended his season. While his abilities as a point guard are not in doubt, an Achilles tear is one of the worst injuries basketball players can suffer.
It seems as if the only player who has ever bounced back from this horrific injury was NBA legend, Dominique Wilkins. The latest victim to fall to an Achilles tear was Orlando Magic’s point guard Brandon Jennings.
Before the injury, Jennings was one the most explosive guards in the league with a relentless first step. Following the injury he suffered two years ago, Jennings has yet to return to form. Therefore signing Conley would come with a huge risk. So, if not Conley then who, how about four-time NBA All-Star Rajon Rondo?
Expecting to become an unrestricted free agent, Rajon Rondo has had his best season since his departure from the Celtics. Averaging 11.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, and a league-leading 11.7 assists with the Sacramento Kings, Rondo is still one of the top point guards in the league today.
In an era dominated by several scoring point guards, Rondo is one of a few pass-first floor generals remaining.
Rondo is one of the best distributors in the league. His vision and creativity are similar to that of Steve Nash. So in an offense that is now run by Mike D’antoni, he may be the ideal point guard for the Rockets.
However, unlike like Nash, Rondo has always been a relentless rebounder for his size. At 6’3 186 pounds, he has ranked near the top of rebounding point guards in each of the last two seasons.
Unfortunately, shooting has always been a huge blemish on his game. Despite shooting 48.6 percent from the field, Rondo has shot 28.9 percent from downtown. As well as a horrendous 60 percent from the charity stripe during his career. Though if paired in a backcourt with James Harden, scoring would become the last obligation for Rondo.
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Defensively, Rondo would be a major upgrade to the Rockets perimeter defense. Throughout his career, he is a four-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. As well as ranking among the top leaders in steals per game.
So for a team who is in desperate need of a point guard, it would be in the Rockets best interest to acquire Rajon Rondo next month. As a leader and champion who knows what it takes to win, Rondo would be an awesome addition to the Rockets this summer.
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