1. Kenneth Faried
Kenneth Faried is the name Houston Rockets fans should be most familiar with, as he was a midseason pickup for the Rockets during the 2018-19 season. The Manimal was a timely addition and was yet another example of Daryl Morey maximizing the buyout market, which he may end up doing again this season.
Faried was added when former Houston Rockets center Clint Capela missed significant time due to a 15-game hiatus which was caused by a thumb injury. The Manimal proved to be a natural fit, as he posted 12 double-doubles and helped guide the Rockets to an 18-7 record with him on the roster through 25 games with the team
The Manimal hasn’t necessarily been known for his 3-point shooting, but he shot 35 percent from long-range over the course of his Houston Rockets tenure. Faried also had a true shooting percentage of 62.2 percent, which was a career-best, and had a player efficiency rating of 21.8, which was third behind only James Harden and Clint Capela. All in all, Faried averaged 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game during his Houston Rockets tenure.
For as great of a fit as Faried was during the 2018-19 season, he’d be an even better fit this season considering the Houston Rockets’ full commitment to the small-ball strategy. Faried is 6-foot-8, which would be the perfect size for a small-ball center, which the Rockets need.
Faried also has proven himself to be a stellar rebounder, which will benefit a Rockets team that’s been getting outrebounded quite often due to the lack of size on the front line. On top of that, Faried displayed his ability to be a rim runner and someone who is great at catching lobs.
Faried and the Rockets reached a contract impasse in the offseason, which resulted in him signing a one-year contract worth $4.4 million with the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association. The Manimal only lasted seven games in the CBA, as he was released by the Lions early in the season due to injury.
While playing with the Lions, he averaged 17.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. Faried would obviously have to be healthy for the Rockets to sign him, but if so he’d certainly be worth a look.