The Rockets have had what could prove to be a successful offseason, but they’ve yet to resign a player who played a significant role in both of the past two seasons.
Donatas Motiejunas is a player who has tremendous upside. He is every bit of seven feet tall and has had stretches of excellent three point shooting, not to mention his myriad of tricky post moves up he has up his sleeve. The Houston Rockets have a bit of cap space left after their signings and restructurings, and it would be downright silly for them to not bring D-Mo back for the 2016-2017 campaign.
D-Mo was getting set to receive a nice pay raise this summer, but a failed physical in February prevented him from being traded to the Detroit Pistons. Now, teams have been extremely hesitant to make him an offer out of worry about his history of back problems. The Rockets could easily sign him to a small contract for just one or two years, and bring back a quality rotation big man without risking too much.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
Daryl Morey has not shown any hesitation to sign a variety of players not named Donotas Motiejunas to the Rockets this summer. Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders provided a summary of Houston’s offseason acquisitions, and how they could end up making quite a bit of sense.
"In fact, the Rockets shot more three-pointers than any team but the Warriors last season, yet they were ranked 19th in three-point percentage. For a team that specifically targeted an abundance of three-point opportunities, the team lacked the consistent shooters to capitalize on the strategy. Adding Anderson and Gordon means that the Rockets can now space the floor more effectively, especially in lineups where Anderson plays as a small-ball center and Trevor Ariza plays at power forward."
D-Mo was one of the most productive players on his team during the majority of the 2014-2015 season, until his back injury caused him to miss the playoffs. Another player who ended up playing valuable minutes after being added to the roster in February of 2015 was Pablo Prigioni. According to Space City Scoop editor Tamberlyn Richardson, he will be back with the Rockets for the upcoming season after playing this past season with the Los Angeles Clippers.
— Pablo Prigioni (@PPrigioni9) July 29, 2016
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It’s widely understood that the Rockets have had a fairly productive offseason, but have grossly neglected the defensive side of the ball. Their two major signings this summer are Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, both of whom are excellent shooters but are limited in their defensive abilities. Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report graded every team’s offseason so far, and the Rockets’ grade is reflective of their heavy emphasis on only one end of the floor.
"The Rockets have plenty of talent, but they’re also a risky squad. The new additions must be implemented properly, and Houston is betting a lot on Clint Capela’s development now that Dwight Howard has left to join his hometown Hawks."
Donatas Motiejunas is far from being a great defender, but he should have a place on the Rockets as a strong second unit scoring threat as well as for dependable, if not slightly underwhelming, defensive effort.
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