The Houston Rockets have made no secret of their interest to bring in more bigs. They are reportedly interested in acquiring center Kevon Looney.
The Rockets are facing uncertainty amongst their bigs. We don’t know what they will do with Clint Capela now that Jimmy Butler is out of the running. What will they do with Capela now? How will they replace his backup, Nene, who has opted for free agency?
The Rockets are capped out and would be forced to use the mid-level exception on Looney. Looney brings championship experience as he is a 2-time NBA champion. He also has shown grit, as he played through injury in the NBA Finals, drawing praise from then coach Steve Kerr.
Looney’s game is still very much of a mystery, in my opinion in part because he only played 18.5 minutes per night for the Warriors this past season. To be fair, it’s no fault of Looney’s that he hasn’t played as many minutes, as the Warriors often would go to their “Hampton Five” lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Angre Iguodala and Draymond Green. In addition, they added DeMarcus Cousins, who they were rightfully giving significantly more minutes because of what he brings on the offensive end.
However, Looney’s averages per 36 minutes are 12.2 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game, along with 3 assists and 1.3 blocks per night. He was also often the Warriors preferred big whenever they were seeking an all-defensive lineup.
The Rockets will likely have competition for Looney’s services, as the Warriors surely won’t want to lose all their bigs. DeMarcus Cousins will be sure to land a higher paying deal than the mid-level exception he was playing under, and their other big, Jordan Bell, has become an unrestricted free agent.
We’ll have to see what happens, but either way it’s clear the Rockets are seeking to add another big.