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Should the Houston Rockets be interested in Iman Shumpert?

By Anthony Duckett
Houston Rockets Iman Shumpert (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Iman Shumpert (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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With news of the Houston Rockets looking to add a defensive wing, could the Rockets turn to a familiar face in Iman Shumpert?

The Houston Rockets have made it known that they are looking for 3-and-D wings, such as Robert Covington. This makes sense as the Rockets are a team devoid of defensive minded players with the exception of P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela. But could the Rockets’ answer be someone they’ve previously had on their roster?

With the Rockets seeking to add another defensive minded player, does it make sense to give Iman Shumpert another look? Shumpert briefly played with the Rockets during the 2018-19 season and was a big contributor during the Rockets’ playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.

During that series, Shumpert shot 38.1 percent from downtown, which was third-best on the Rockets. Not only that, Shumpert also scored in double figures in three of the six games of the series.

Shumpert most recently played for the Brooklyn Nets, and the Nets went 9-4 during the 13 games he played in. Shumpert’s defensive rating is currently the best of his previous five years and would be one of the better ones on the Rockets as well.

Shumpert’s 3-point efficiency has certainly taken a dip this year, which isn’t encouraging but his ability on the defensive end of the floor would be a major boost for a Rockets team allowing 115 points per game. He also wouldn’t come at much of a price as he surely knows by now that he needs to continue to showcase his ability to warrant consideration from other teams down the line.

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There is always the possibility that Shumpert may not want to come back to Houston, as he may very well be bitter about the manner in which his Rockets’ tenure ended. If you recall, the Rockets were seeking to sign Shumpert to a contract for the sole purpose of using him as a human trade exception, much like they ultimately did with Nene. Were it not for the NBA intervening, the Rockets were about to use Nene’s contract to land a major contributor and $12.6 million worth of incoming salary.

We’ll have to see what happens and there’s not been any mention of the Rockets’ interest in Shumpert but his presence could certainly pay dividends on the defensive end.

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