The Rockets have had a crazy offseason so far yet again. While they pursue one particular big name, they should also look into another wing.
The Houston Rockets are hot on the trail of Carmelo Anthony. They are the favorites to sign him as soon as the trade to Atlanta is finalized and he is bought out by the Hawks.
He could also choose to go to Miami, but the Rockets are a much better option for him at this point in his career. He can focus on other aspects of his game while he is getting wide open shots courtesy of James Harden and Chris Paul.
Unfortunately, Carmelo isn’t a very good defensive player. That’s kind of stating the obvious, as he’s always been known for his elite offensive game when he was in his prime. Melo should make up for the offense lost with the departures of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, but the team still needs a bit more defense.
The Rockets do, though, have talented defenders on the roster. Chris Paul is a fantastic defensive player even in his mid-30s. P.J. Tucker has always been great on that end of the court. Clint Capela gets better each and every year in the middle of the defense. Newly-signed forward James Ennis will be great in filling the role lost by one of the two. Michael Carter-Williams has upside on defense as well.
One more defensive wing wouldn’t hurt, though
Despite that, the Rockets could still use another perimeter defender if they want to keep the same defensive intensity that granted them the sixth best D Rating in the league last year. This will likely have to be done via a trade, as most of the ones on the market are taken up.
Kent Bazemore is the popular option among Rockets followers. He has a large contract that the Hawks might be willing to trade to Houston for assets. Bazemore isn’t the tallest guy at 6’5, but he is someone that fits right into the style of the Rockets and can lock down his assignment.
Iman Shumpert is another name thrown around in Rockets rumors. He isn’t quite the defender he used to be, but he played well for Mike D’Antoni in his system with the Knicks. Does he have anything left in the tank to give?
The Rockets could also go local with Danuel House. He is coming off of a great Summer League where he showed potential on both ends of the court. House is a Houston native and is someone who could, given the opportunity, play a great role for the Rockets. I’d like to see this option if the other guys don’t work out through trades.
Replacing those two defenders isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible. It’s definitely time to trust the front office, as they certainly know what they’re doing.