The Houston Rockets went from having a relatively quiet offseason to having one of the most talked-about offseasons in the league. One major question remains… what grade would you give the Rockets offseason thus far?
In my eyes, there are three major statistical categories in which the offseason of the Houston Rockets can be graded. Those three include the re-signing of Austin Rivers and Danuel House Jr., the signing of Tyson Chandler, and the acquiring of Russell Westbrook.
Going into the offseason, there were major questions surrounding the Rockets’ ability to re-sign either Danuel House Jr. or Austin Rivers (shout out to also bringing back Gerald Green). Both of these players were expected to receive interest around the league and may price the Rockets out on bringing them back to the squad. In an act of sorcery, Daryl Morey was able to bring not only one, but BOTH, of these integral guys back for next season. With an offseason, it’s imperative to ask, did my team get better with this move that has been made? In the case of bringing back Rivers and House Jr., you absolutely made your team better.
In a global view of the roster from the 2018-2019 season, one position that needed a drastic upgrade was the backup center position. I have all of the love in the world for a guy like NENE, but it was time for him to go. With the addition of Chandler, all of the sudden, you are instantly making your roster better. In 2018, playing for the Suns and Lakers, he appeared in 55 games. He averaged (on a per-game basis): 16.4 minutes played, 3.1 points, 60.9% from the field, and 5.6 rebounds per game. His biggest impact will be felt in the locker room and with the rebounding numbers. Again, examining if this move made the team better, it absolutely did!!
Let’s get to the biggest move of the offseason, the addition of Russell “Brodie “Westbrook. In case you have been living under a rock, the Rockets acquired Westbrook from the OKC Thunder for Chris Paul, 2 first-round picks, and a right to swap two first-round picks. The argument of how Westbrook and James Harden can co-exist on the same floor is valid, but it was a move you had to make if you are the Rockets. With all due respect to Chris Paul, he is a shell of his former basketball self. He has nights where he looks explosive and like he did when he was a Clipper or a New Orleans Hornet. There are other nights when he is either injured or does not have the explosiveness that he once had. On its face, this trade made your roster younger, faster, more durable, and BETTER.
The overall grade I would give to the Houston Rockets for their offseason, thus far, is an A-. I took off my homer glasses, and I really examined the moves that they have made. The ability to bring Rivers and House was huge for depth reasons. The ability to add Tyson Chandler makes you drastically better on the boards (ranking in the bottom 5 teams in the league last season). In adding Westbrook, you add one of James Harden’s best friends, and he is also one heck of a ballplayer.
Congratulations Daryl Morey and company, you have this writer’s seal of approval with your offseason and I cannot wait for the season to get started!! GO ROCKETS!!