With the departure of Montrezl Harrell, the Rockets will need to find a new center to take his role.
Who will be that third center on the Rockets this season? Houston needs to find someone because the system with Nene will likely be the same. Nene needs to rest on back-to-backs on certain games. There are options within the organization that can fill that role and also a couple free agents that would work. Let’s look at some of the options:
Internal Option: Chinanu Onuaku
Nanu is an option for this job. While he has not exactly impressed in the Summer League so far, he still showed flashes last season of being a good player. Last season, Harrell did not seem ready but when he was thrown into the role he embraced it and played great. Maybe the same thing can happen with Onuaku.
Internal Option: Zhou Qi
Zhou will likely not be ready for this role. He will probably need to have some time in the G-League first, but maybe at some point in the season, he can be that third center option. He has looked pretty good in the Summer League and is still working out the kinks.
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External Option: Tarik Black
Could a reunion be in the works at some point? The athletic center was once a Summer League standout who got a chance with the Rockets. He was waived by the Lakers, unfortunately, but is still available to sign. He plays similarly to Harrell and could be an interesting fit in Houston as that third center.
Zeller is another player who got waived this offseason. He is still just 27 and is only two years removed from averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds per game. He is a decent player who finishes well around the rim. Zeller would be an interesting option to come off the bench when Nene is not playing.
*All stats via Basketball-Reference*