After another mediocre free agency period, perhaps the summers are not so breezy for the Houston Rockets.
As the hype of the 2016 free agency frenzy fades. The disappointment is quickly starting to settle in Clutch City. The Houston Rockets headed into the offseason full of high hopes of landing another all-star player to their organization.
After Kevin Durant, Al Horford, and Dwight Howard took their talents elsewhere. The Rockets ended up signing two injury-prone players (Eric Gordon & Ryan Anderson) and a big man who is past his prime (Nene).
With the 2016-17 roster all but official, ESPN‘s Calvin Watkins takes a closer look at the emotional rollercoaster the Rockets faced this summer.
"The spent nearly $135 million in free agency, highlighted by the signing of power forward , a player the team sought for years in trade proposals and free agency. Next was shooting guard , whom the team was also interested in for some time. And the third was , a veteran center who will help bolster the bench. Essentially, the Rockets feel they improved their team this summer — even without retaining center — with the goal of making a deeper playoff run in the Western Conference. Here’s how it all came together. Houston Rockets Ryan Anderson Eric Gordon Nene Hilario Dwight Howard"
On the verge of a new era in Houston. The 2016-17 Rockets’ roster will feature a mix of veterans players who will play alongside up and coming rookies trying to break into the league.
With the lack of a big man since Howard’s departure, Houston reached an agreement with Chinanu Onuaku. According to Johnathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, it’s a three-year deal in hopes that Onuaku can surpass draft night expectations.
"The Rockets reached an agreement with second-round pick Chinanu Onuaku on a three-year, fully guaranteed deal, using their remaining cap space to come to terms with the kind of contract they hope will provide time to develop the 19-year-old center. With the deal with Onuaku completed, they could sign Nene to a one-year, $2.9 million contract using the salary cap exception as a team that had cap room. Had they signed Nene before Onuaku, they could have only signed their rookie center to a two-year deal."
Regardless of another mediocre summer, none of Houston’s newcomers could be more disappointing than former point guard Ty Lawson.
Last summer Houston acquired Lawson from the Denver Nuggets. Teaming him alongside James Harden and Howard, the Rockets seemed poised for a deep run for years to come. Unfortunately after 11 games, Lawson was benched and never lived up to the expectations that brought him to Clutch City.
In March Lawson was waived and he later spent the rest of the season buried on the bench of the Indiana Pacers. Now as an unrestricted free agent who’s market has been slow. Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated says after the awful season in Houston, Lawson is looking to get his star status back and prove he’s still got game.
"After his NBA star status crashed, free agent point guard Ty Lawson hopes to get back to his old self on the hardwood and make his parents proud again, too. Lawson is now a free agent seeking another NBA opportunity in hopes of proving that he can be the star guard again. “It would be big to be back to my old self again. Also, it’s not for just me, it’s for my parents,” Lawson told The Undefeated. “They have had a hard time seeing what I’ve been going through. I know they hear the little comments at NBA games. To make them proud again would mean the world to me.”"
He may no longer be in Houston, but here is hope that Lawson can overcome his problems, and return to that all-star caliber player he once was in Denver.
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