There are some game-changer type of players available via free agency or trade this summer. Can the Houston Rockets find a way to improve this roster to take another run at a championship?
I truly cannot believe what I saw in Games 5 and 6 between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. The ability for the Rockets to FINALLY take down the hated Warriors in the playoffs was right there for the taking, and we simply choked away the chance.
Okay, now that the obvious has been stated, we look forward to next season. With all of the rumors surrounding the Rockets players and coaches, I would like to take some time to focus on my top 4 guys that we should be trying to acquire (via free agency or trade) to improve our chances at making a run at the title in 2020-2021.
Idea No. 1
My first option would be the incredibly talented, Small Forward Kawhi Leonard. It is impossible to ignore his performance in the 2019 playoffs, and he is showing just how valuable he is on both ends of the court. I understand his ties to the state of California (grew up there, and went to school at San Diego State University).
If he makes the decision to leave the Raptors, and the Rockets make a sign and trade offer to the Raptors of Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, two first-round picks and another young player to be named at a later date, would that be enough to entice the Raptors to agree to the deal? That remains to be seen, but I would be absolutely all in on doing whatever it takes to acquire Kawhi Leonard.
Idea No. 2
My second option would be the hometown guy, Small Forward Jimmy Butler. This may be an unpopular opinion among Red Nation, but PJ Tucker should be moved to a significant bench role. A starting frontcourt of Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker and Clint Capela is great for the regular season, but it has shown time and time again that it cannot work against the Warriors in a 7 game series.
In this instance, by adding a guy like Butler, you instantly upgrade the Small Forward position. Is it likely that he leaves the 76ers? Not likely, but there is certainly a chance that he does, and what would be better than returning to play for your hometown team?
Idea No. 3
My third option would be one of my favorite players in this year’s free agency class, Small Forward Khris Middleton. I am sure that you are seeing the pattern of trying to identify guys to upgrade the Small Forward position, and Middleton would certainly do that as well.
He is a true 6 foot 8 inches and would be able to help tremendously with the Rockets rebounding woes. He is a younger, much more athletic version of Trevor Ariza, and who would say no to adding a guy like this to the Rockets roster?
Idea No. 4
My fourth and final option would be, Power Forward Julius Randle. It is no secret that we struggled mightily on the glass this year. What better way to help with that than bringing in a true power forward to play alongside Clint? This guy is a beast on the boards, and he is coming off of a career year with the Pelicans. As a free agent, he is going to be expensive, but man, I would love to have him as a Rocket next year.
I am aware that in order to acquire some of these players, the Rockets are going to be forced to get really creative with the salary cap, but luckily, Daryl Morey is a wizard with that. Buckle up Rockets fans, because this is going to be one wild ride. As always, GO ROCKETS!!!