6 players the Rockets should target from the Chinese league

Houston Rockets Kenneth Faried (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Kenneth Faried (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Lance Stephenson (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images) /

3. Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson has been one of the more entertaining players in the league for a while now. Stephenson is most known for his battles with LeBron James, which have famously included blowing in LeBron’s ear. “Make em dance Lance” joined LBJ with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2018-19 season and added yet another antic for the basketball world to remember him for: the guitar.

On the court, Stephenson had a solid season, as he had 14.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per 36 minutes. which would be great production for the Rockets’ second unit. Stephenson also shot 37.1 percent from 3-point range, which was second-best on the Lakers’ roster. Stephenson would have the green light to let it fly in the Houston Rockets’ offensive system, which is all about shooting a high number of 3-pointers.

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At 6-foot-6, Stephenson has the size to play either forward position, especially in a small-ball lineup such as the one the Rockets employ. Stephenson is also a capable defender, as he had a defensive field goal percentage of 45.7 percent, which was third-best on the Lakers among players who appeared in at least 60 games.

Granted, Lance isn’t viewed as a lockdown defender, but he’s certainly above average in that department. We’re also not that far removed from the 2013-14 season in which Stephenson had 20 double-doubles and a league-leading 5 triple-doubles.

Stephenson ended up signing a one-year deal worth up to $4 million with the Liaoning Flying Leopards, which was likely more than the veteran-minimum offers he was getting during NBA free agency. Stephenson has thrived in the Chinese Basketball Association, as he’s averaged 26.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per contest. The Rockets would be wise to give Make em’ dance Lance a call, as he’d provide size, 3-point shooting potential, and a quality bench contributor as well.

Next: No. 2