With the Houston Rockets in desperate need for more size to bolster their front line, it’s worth compiling a list of ten players the Rockets could possibly land, either through a trade or the buyout market.
It’s no secret that the Houston Rockets don’t necessarily have size on the front line, as Clint Capela is essentially the only legitimate big on the roster who receives consistent playing time from Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni. It goes without saying that the Rockets could turn to reserve big man Isaiah Hartenstein for significant playing time, but MDA has made it known that he doesn’t trust in the younger, developing prospects such as Harty.
With D’Antoni’s unwillingness to turn to Harty, the Rockets have been left with the option of either turning to 37-year-old Tyson Chandler or constantly going with a small lineup, with the latter being the more common route. There are many examples of D’Antoni’s distrust in Hartenstein, but the Rockets’ home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on MLK Day was beyond enough proof, as the Rockets opted to play without both Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Hartenstein, and played PJ Tucker and Danuel House at the five.
This led to P.J. Tucker playing a game-high 41 minutes, which came on the heels of The Athletic’s Kelly Iko reporting that Tucker was going to be on a minute restriction of around 30 minutes per game.
Another example was his disinterest in playing Hartenstein during the Rockets’ much-anticipated loss against the Los Angeles Lakers, as he opted to play Chandler because he’s more experienced. This was a head-scratching decision, as the Lakers have a combination of bigs such as Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee, which should have allowed Harty some playing time, considering how he’s got more of an offensive repertoire at this point of his career than Chandler.
During Friday night’s victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Rockets were outrebounded 52-34 and also lost the battle of offensive rebounds by a wide margin of 13-to-4. This can be a consequence of going with a small-ball rotation, but fortunately, the Rockets were able to win the game, thanks to Russell Westbrook’s Herculean effort.
If MDA doesn’t have a desire to play Hartenstein, the Rockets will have to go out and acquire more bigs, because the last thing Tucker needs is an uptick in minutes, especially with him nursing a neck injury, as he told Mark Berman of Houston’s Fox 26 News.
But even outside of Harty, the Rockets are a fairly small unit, which makes it a must for Daryl Morey to go and get a quality big. Let’s take a look at ten potential options the Rockets should look to land.