7 players the Houston Rockets should target on the buyout market

Maurice Harkless (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Maurice Harkless (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
New York Knicks Bobby Portis (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

2. Bobby Portis

It’s no secret that the Houston Rockets are in need of additional size, as they lack players who are taller than 6-foot-7. This prompted them to make a trade for Bruno Caboclo, but he’s still recovering from a knee injury he suffered on January 13th.

Sure the Rockets have Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Hartenstein, but it’s been made clear that Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni doesn’t necessarily like that idea. At 6-foot-10, Bobby Portis would instantly help in this department, which would allow the Rockets to reduce the minutes of PJ Tucker, who has been the starting center.

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Portis also has the ability to hit the 3-point shot, as he’s shooting 34.9 percent from long-range this season, which is actually the lowest percentage of the treys he’s made since the 2017-18 season. In fact, Portis shot 40.3 percent from long-range last season, which is considered stellar.

Portis is averaging 16.2 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes, but he’s not a fit for the rebuilding Knicks. The Knicks have a variety of big men and have hit the restart button, which caused them to fire president Steve Mills, which was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Knicks also fired then head coach David Fizdale earlier in the season as well.

Portis is playing just 20.9 minutes per game, which ranks seventh-best on the Knicks. This isn’t necessarily surprising because they’ve been trying to play the players who they envision as being a part of their future, and there are several reasons why the 24-year-old doesn’t fit that bill.

For starters, the general manager who brought him to New York is no longer there, and the Knicks have a team option at the conclusion of this season. This means they can simply decline it and allow Portis to hit free agency this offseason.

We also know the Knicks have been big-game hunting as it pertains to pursuing marquee players during free agency, which means they will certainly be looking to keep the necessary cap space in the event that they are able to reel in a superstar. The combination of this and Portis taking minutes away from the Knicks’ younger players means Portis is certainly not a long-term fit in the Big Apple. With that being the case, don’t be surprised if the Knicks buy him out.

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