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Should the Houston Rockets Be Holding Out Hope for Sergio Llull?

Sergio Llull #23 of Spain drives against Serbia during FIBA Basketball World Cup China 2019 at Wuhan Sports Center on September 08 , 2019 in Wuhan, China.
Sergio Llull #23 of Spain drives against Serbia during FIBA Basketball World Cup China 2019 at Wuhan Sports Center on September 08 , 2019 in Wuhan, China.
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Should the Houston Rockets still be waiting on Sergio Llull? Here’s why I’m against the idea!

The Houston Rockets have held the rights to Real Madrid guard Sergio Llull ever since 2009 after they struck a trade with the Denver Nuggets for his draft rights. But it’s been 10 years and Llull has yet to don a Rockets uniform. At this point, it seems likely that Llull will never suit up for the Rockets, but even if he does, what value does he now have at age 31? On top of that, as currently constructed the Rockets are loaded at guard, so who would Llull steal minutes from?

On Sunday, Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey made no secret of his continued interest in Llull on Twitter, as he mentioned how a rule modification would have allowed the Rockets to play Llull in the playoffs, if the rule were in existence.

This is something @NBA should implement. We would have pulled out @23Llull in game 7 vs @warriors https://t.co/94qqurK47k

— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) September 9, 2019

It’s easy to understand why the Rockets would have interest in Llull, as he’s a 2-time All-Euroleague selection and even won the MVP in 2017 as he averaged 16.5 points and 5.9 assists while shooting 37.2% from three. Llull is a career 36% three point shooter, which is certainly appealing to Morey and the Rockets, but he’s not necessarily the most efficient of scorers, as he’s shooting a career 43.4% from the field. This doesn’t align with a Rockets team that values taking high percentage shots.

Personally I think the Rockets should love what they have at guard and I don’t believe they are missing out on anything in regards to Llull.

There’s another element that is understandable regarding Morey’s interest. The Rockets $2.25 million for Sergio Llull, which was the most money ever for a second round pick’s draft rights at the time, which is surely a price the Rockets would hate to eat. Its understandable for the Rockets to want to get a return on their investment, but at this point, it seems like the $2.25 million dollar bill for Llull will end up being a sunk cost, which is okay considering the state of the roster.

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Besides, if past history is an indicator of the future, Mike D’Antoni wouldn’t turn to Llull anyways, so what does it matter? In my opinion, it’s been long enough with Llull that the Houston Rockets should move on.

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