1. Aron Baynes
Aron Baynes is a lot like Marc Gasol, just with less passing creativity but more defensive mobility. In his lone season in Phoenix, Baynes decided he was going Steph Curry. He took four threes a game and hit 35.1 percent of them.
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Baynes’ ability to be a credible 3-point threat means he can share the floor with Russell Westbrook without taking away the spacing that allows Westbrook to be at his best.
Baynes is also one of the league’s most ferocious screen setters. Teams will continue to double team James Harden, but setting screens close to halfcourt with Baynes might cause defenders to lose some of their appetites to go after him after getting pancaked time after time.
As soon as they went small, the Rockets got absolutely dominated on the boards, but Baynes will help clean up that area of weakness too.
The Rockets need more lineup versatility. Their small ball lineups are effective, but they need to be able to play differently when the matchup dictates it. Baynes is the perfect bridge between the old low-post and new perimeter-oriented center.
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The Rockets have a core that can win, but they need to fill out their roster with complementary players that give them more flexibility. The Rockets had no counter to the Lakers counters. In Baynes, they’ll open up a whole new can of worms for opposing teams.