The Rockets had a big night on Thursday, drafting two solid prospects and signing three more, but their work for the summer is far from over.
Now begins the real fun. The offseason has already been wild with big names like Derrick Rose, Serge Ibaka, and Victor Oladipo moving around, and the Houston Rockets will surely join in before too long. With free agency just around the corner and $45 million to spend, Red Nation is all set to make a splash with some big signings.
Today’s Daily Rocket Science will admittedly be all over the place, but that seems appropriate with the state of the team at this point.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
First up, the draft. The Rockets looked like they might have blown their chance at getting their money’s worth at the draft, but as The Dream Shake’s Ethan Rothstein opined in his draft recap, they saved the night with undrafted signings before the night was over.
"What looked like a draft sure to get C’s and D’s from around the league now looks like a stroke of genius. Payton had been pegged as a possible selection for the Rockets at 43. Instead, they get a useful big at 37, a valuable draft-and-stash player at 43 the backup point guard they needed, all without giving up any future picks, players or cash. and"
It could be premature to discuss Dwight Howard‘s legacy in Houston, but all signs point to him playing elsewhere next season. That being said, Colin Ainsworth of The Dream Shake was the first to provide his thoughts on how D12 will be and should be remembered in Houston.
"Who is to say we don’t make a run if doesn’t hit that shot in the Portland series? Dwight was the second best player on the only Rockets team that’s been to the conference finals since the 1990s. And you can’t completely blame this season on him. He didn’t help, and he did hurt, but so did just about every single person in the organization. Damian Lillard"
More from Space City Scoop
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- Houston Rockets: Evan Mobley worth a look at No. 2 in NBA Draft
- Houston Rockets: Ranking the top-five 2021 NBA draft prospects
Now that the draft is over and done with, there is no bigger blip on nearly every team’s radar than Kevin Durant. No matter how large or small their chances, teams will throw everything they’ve got at the former MVP in hopes that he’ll give them consideration. The Rockets are one of those aforementioned teams, according to ESPN’s Calvin Watkins with James Harden leading the way, not letting reports of disinterest slow him down.
The fall for Harden and his team was something he couldn’t accept. So he has decided to take a direct approach in changing his narrative.
He has elected to skip playing for the U.S. Olympic team, instead channeling his energy toward recruiting high-quality free agents, starting with Durant, his good friend from their three seasons together in OKC.
The Rockets’ moderate success in the draft will mean nearly nothing if the team ends up being unable to lure in some solid pieces via free agency. The next couple of weeks will be telling as to how next season will go for Houston, so stay tuned.
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