The 2015-2016 season has officially come to an end with the Cavaliers taking home the trophy. The Rockets should have already been planning their attack for free agency, but now there is no excuse.
There’s no more NBA basketball to watch until October. LeBron James defeated the historically great Golden State Warriors, which came as a relief to me, being the grudge-holding Houston Rockets fan that I am.
There’s no doubt that the Rockets’ management has been planning their attack for free agency, but now the offseason has officially begun. Today’s Daily Rocket Science will focus on what players could be targeted by Houston once the discussions open up next month.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
One of the biggest decisions that Daryl Morey and company will have to make this summer is whether or not to match any offers that are made to Donatas Motiejunas and/or Terrence Jones. The two will be restricted free agents, and Bleacher Report’s Adam Fromal made legitimate arguments for keeping them around as well as for letting them walk.
The complete lack of confidence in [Jones’s] offensive abilities made it tougher for Houston to justify handing him a larger role, and it didn’t help that he struggled defensively. NBA.com’s SportVU data shows he let the opposition hit 51.6 percent of its shots at the basket.
If teams are hesitant to pay him a large sum, it’s because this last season remains fresh in their minds.
One player that has been linked to Houston in several rumors over the past couple of weeks is Charlotte Hornets point guard Jeremy Lin. With Lin not satisfied with a backup role, a potential reunion with Mike D’Antoni could be enticing for him, according to Bleacher Report’s Josh Martin. He’d be a quality offensive point guard who would likely come at a decent price, given his ho-hum production since Linsanity in 2012. If James Harden would be willing to share the ball handling duties, it could be a perfect match.
"If you think Jeremy Lin’s going to settle for being a backup point guard, think again. During a recent trip to Taiwan, Lin said that his free-agent decision will depend, among other things, on “whether I am a starter and how much playing time I get,” per Focus Taiwan’s . Christie Chen and Lee Yu-cheng"
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Though the Rockets will have plenty of cash to offer (if Dwight Howard does end up leaving Houston), offseason acquisitions are always a bit of a gamble. Daryl Morey likes his chances with gambling, though, especially in the draft. According to The Dream Shake’s Darren Yuvan, the GM is confident that he’ll be able to get some solid talent from the draft this Thursday, despite not owning any first round picks this time around.
Since 1999, only 6 percent of all total second round picks have gone on to average over 25 minutes per game in the NBA. Though the Rockets have been luckier than most with those picks, especially under GM Daryl Morey.
In fact, Morey believes he’s had better luck in the second over the years than the first round, telling the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen: “We’ve actually done well in both rounds, just relatively, we’ve done better in the second round. People point to past picks, but relative to where they were selected — and we have a good track record in the first round as well — but the second round, obviously, we’ve had good success.”
Only time will tell whether Morey is overconfident or if he’s simply aware of his drafting knowledge. Stay tuned to Space City Scoop for updates on the draft and free agency, as well as the continuing Draft Prospect Series.
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