10 players the Rockets could add with the mid-level exception

D.J. Augustin #14 of the Orlando Magic (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
D.J. Augustin #14 of the Orlando Magic (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Aron Baynes (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

1. Aron Baynes

Aron Baynes would be a natural fit for the Houston Rockets, as he presents size, rebounding, 3-point shooting ability, and a tough, physical defender. At 6-foot-10, Baynes would make for a perfect roll man for Russell Westbrook and James Harden, and it doesn’t stop there.

Baynes is coming off a 2019-20 season in which he posted career highs across the board, as he averaged 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists, in addition to making 35.1 percent of his threes. Baynes posted a true shooting percentage of 58.8 percent last season, which is his highest clip since the 2014-15 season.

Baynes started 28 games for the Phoenix Suns in 2019-20 and thd Suns went 13-15 in those games, posting averages of 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds, compared to 7.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in the other 14 games in which he came off the bench. Baynes played 36 minutes or more in just one game in 2019-20, and turned in a game to remember during the Suns’ March 6th game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

In that game, Baynes scored 37 points on just 23 shots, and was lethal from long-range, as he made 9 of his 14 attempts from three. In addition, Baynes grabbed 16 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.

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Baynes is an unrestricted free agent, and will certainly have plenty of suitors, but the Houston Rockets would be wise to give him a call, as he figures to be one of the best players they could sign with their mid-level exception.