Free Agency: Houston Rockets to Pursue Kyle Lowry

Jan 8, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) dribble the ball past Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) in the second half at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) dribble the ball past Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) in the second half at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

It seems the Houston Rockets are involved in everything this off-season. Among the free agent targets is a familiar face to Red Nation.

With the NBA Draft now complete, it is time for all 30 teams to turn their attention to free agency. Because of Daryl Morey’s aggressive approach, expect the Houston Rockets to pursue big name free agents in July. One of the names among Houston’s free agent targets is Kyle Lowry, who played here from 2009 to 2012. Lowry’s name adds to the Rocket’s list that includes Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Paul Millsap.

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap and Kyle Lowry … four free agents Houston, according to league sources, plans to pursue in July,

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 21, 2017

While things have changed in Houston quite a bit, Lowry is the one player most familiar with the Rockets and their brand of basketball.

So with that in mind, how well would a Lowry-Harden partnership work for the Rockets? Let’s take a look at his numbers.

How can Kyle Lowry improve the Houston Rockets?

While James Harden played the point guard position this season, having Lowry adds another ball handler to take pressure off of Harden. On offense, they add another capable 3-point shooter, a player that gets to the basket, and a solid defender who plays bigger than his 6-foot frame shows.

Last season, Lowry averaged 22.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7 assists per game on 46.4% shooting from 2-point range, and 41.2% from 3-point range. Also, add in 81.9% from the free throw line and he gives the Houston Rockets another weapon on offense.

While he may be a risk taker on defense, he still brings a good defensive presence alongside another great defender in Patrick Beverley (assuming he remains a Rocket). Lowry likes to swipe for the ball, a lot. Because of his awareness on defense, he averaged 1.5 steals per game last season. Add in his pace with his feisty style of play and the Rockets are a nightmare on fast breaks.

With the addition of Lowry, the Houston Rockets can rest Harden longer and have more depth at the guard position. No team would complain with having fierce defenders such as Lowry and Beverley available in the rotation. It may cost a bit to get him to Houston, but the reward could be greater.

The pursuit of Lowry almost certainly means that Lou Williams could be moved ahead of the free agency period. Another possible move for salary cap space would be Ryan Anderson being traded.

Free Agency Scuttle: Houston is making Ryan Anderson/Lou Williams/Patrick Beverley available via trade to create summer spending flexibility

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 21, 2017

Is Kyle Lowry worth pursuing?

There are a few questions about Lowry’s fit that causes concern. First of all, he is turnover prone. With his desire to constantly push the ball, he can force the action too much at times. Second, he tends to fall in love with the 3-point shot and that leads to some streakiness. It is no secret, the Houston Rockets live and die by the three. However, offensive efficiency is key to Mike D’Antoni’s system. And third, he has durability issues. There were times where Kyle Lowry missed significant time with ankle and hamstring injuries. However, the same was said about Eric Gordon and Coach D’Antoni managed his minutes well.

Overall, Kyle Lowry is worth the pursuit. In an ideal situation, the Houston Rockets can start Lowry and Harden, and on the second unit bring in Gordon and Beverley. Just like that, Coach D’Antoni has four interchangeable guards that can come in at anytime. That is a scary backcourt to contend with. His familiarity with Rockets basketball should make Houston a possible destination.

While it is a toss up whether Lowry comes to Houston, there is always a chance with Daryl Morey leading the charge. And if you need a reminder of what Lowry did in a Rockets uniform, look no further.

And that was before he became an All-Star.

The addition of Kyle Lowry would be interesting. Having another bull of a guard who plays well on both ends of the court would help tremendously. Let’s see what the Houston Rockets pull off this time around.

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*Stats via Basketball-Reference*

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