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
Wesley Matthews #9 of the Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

8. Wes Matthews

Wes Matthews has been a steady 3-and-D player, essentially at every destination he’s landed in the league. Matthews is a 38.1 percent 3-point shooter, which would be a boost for a Rockets team that ranked 24th in 3-point shooting percentage.

Although Matthews is 34-years-old, he’s proven to be one of the more durable players in the league, as he’s played in 60 games or more in each of his 11 seasons in the league. Matthews has clearly remained a stellar defensive presence, as he finished the 2019-20 season with 2.4 defensive win shares, which was a career-best.

Matthews made 36.4 percent of his threes during the 2019-20 season, which would have been second-best on the Houston Rockets, behind only Ben McLemore, who made 40 percent of his attempts from deep. Matthews increased his 3-point shooting percentage in the postseason, as he made 39.5 percent of his threes during the Milwaukee Bucks’ title chase.

Matthews made $2.5 million during the 2019-20 season, and has a player’s option for the 2020-21 season, which would pay him just $2.69 million. After a stellar season for Matthews, it’s clear that the Bucks got quite a bargain by paying Matthews such a low annual salary.

In addition, Matthews struggled to find minutes, as he played a career-low 24.4 minutes per game, despite being one of the best shooters on the Bucks. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he decided to opt out of his final year to land a bigger payday. If he does, we should expect him to command the mid-level exception, and the Houston Rockets could use his shooting touch, in addition to his defense.

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