The Houston Rockets are looking to continue to improve, this time eyeing one guard that the team was rumored to be interested in during the summer.
The Houston Rockets are on a tear right now, winning eight of their last nine games on their way to making themselves three games back of first place in the ever-tough Western Conference.
After the improvements to the style of play for the Rockets, they are up to 19-15 on the season. Still, though, they are looking to improve their roster even more by looking at the trade market. One option that came up in a recent Shams Charania article on The Athletic (link) is the Atlanta Hawks’ Kent Bazemore.
The Rockets have shown interest in adding Bazemore to the team ever since the offseason. He has been heavily rumored to be connected to the team as he was almost a Rocket before signing a free agent deal with the Hawks a couple of years ago.
Bazemore is a guy that could come in and really contribute for the Rockets, whether he is starting or coming off the bench. Let’s look at some numbers and see how he’d help:
How Bazemore could help
The Houston Rockets could use a guy like Bazemore, especially when he would be more focused in a winning situation. He is a player that plays well on both ends of the court and could play valuable minutes for the team down the stretch and into the playoffs.
So far this year, Kent Bazemore is averaging a career-high in points (14.0) despite decently lower shooting percentages. His 3-point shooting is down, but that also might be because of the amount of shots the Hawks need him to take and the lack of motivation on a poor team. Put him in a good situation like Houston with a lesser role, and he might be back to being a well-above average shooter.
On defense, he is a 6’5 guard who would likely also be able to play the small forward position as the Rockets play small quite a bit. He also has an incredible 7’0 wingspan that makes him able to guard both guards and forwards. Austin Rivers has found success coming from a bad situation to Houston, Kent Bazemore could see similar success or even more.
If the Rockets wanted to, they could start him instead of Eric Gordon and push him back to the bench when Chris Paul returns. That would make the starting lineup Paul/Harden/Bazemore/Tucker/Capela, which would be absolutely insane defensively (and offensively). The bench would then have Gordon/Green/Ennis/House/Nene, which is a solid second unit.
The Rockets could really use a guy like Kent Bazemore, as it would make them even more solid on both ends of the court. He would make the rotation even tougher as the team continues to improve.