4. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Much of the shade directed towards the Rockets this season centered on their lack of a true center. Those that were critical of the Rockets’ small ball transformation felt vindicated when the Rockets lost at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the playoffs.
Those critics are idiots. Small ball didn’t doom the Rockets. Their lack of roster versatility did them in. Enter Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to be the swiss army knife the Rockets have been lacking.
The Rockets’ roster allowed them to play small ball effectively but with only one particular designed lineup. They would trot out Covington, Tucker, and Jeff Green in the frontcourt and surround them with guards on the perimeter.
The lineup was very successful for the most part, but when teams could match the Rockets speed while also maintaining a height advantage, the Rockets were left with one route to victory– bomb threes and pray that they land.
Kidd-Gilchrist is not a great 3-point shooter, but he would give the Rockets another switch-anything defender that can hold his own against wings and bigs. Sometimes teams have to win games by shutting teams down defensively because even great shooters have their off nights. The Rockets need more variety in their small-ball lineups, and Kidd-Gilchrist would unlock a lock-down defensive unit.
Next: Number 3