3 “What-if” targets for the Houston Rockets this offseason

JJ Redick (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
JJ Redick (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Serge Ibaka #9 of the Toronto Raptors talks with head coach Nick Nurse (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /

Serge Ibaka

The 30-year-old Serge Ibaka is a 6’10 forward and center, a three-time All-Defensive team selection, a two-time block champion, and a 2019 champion. In his last four seasons with the Raptors, Ibaka has averaged 14.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game, while shooting 36 percent from three.

Ever since the Raptors moved Ibaka to the center position, his scoring increased, but his shooting percentage was inconsistent in the last two seasons. In the 2019-20 season, Ibaka shot almost 39 percent from three with an offensive rating of 108.6.

Ibaka is a versatile player, as he can score from underneath the rim and above the perimeter. James Harden would love to play with Ibaka because they played together in Oklahoma City, before Harden was traded to the Rockets.

Ibaka would be a great pick-and-roll companion for Harden because of his shooting and ability to cut to the basket. If the Rockets get Ibaka, they’d get a rim protector, a versatile defender, and a solid rebounder, which they desperately need.

Ibaka’s defense during the previous season yielded a 105.5 defensive rating, which became 101.5 during the playoffs, as defensive intensity increased. This would also give the Rockets another big rebounder on the floor too.

Hopefully, Morey can get Ibaka at a reasonable asking price because the Rockets need his talents, as the Western Conference will only get harder.

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