Following the Houston Rockets signing of free-agent Christian Wood, the front office should now set their sights on big man Tristan Thompson.
There is no denying that Christian Wood was a great addition for the Houston Rockets, as he proved to be a formidable center at 25-years-old, albeit in the small sample size filling in for the traded Andre Drummond in Detroit this past season. Houston fans are understandably excited about the signing, but the Rockets also need to add another big.
There have been talks that the team is interested in adding DeMarcus Cousins, but the beauty of free agency is you never know who will end up where and the Rockets should have a backup plan if they aren’t able to land the highly-coveted Cousins. The plan should be to make a run at Tristan Thompson.
Playing in Cleveland post-LeBron James has allowed Thompson to fly under the radar, much as the team has since his departure in 2018. But he remained one of the solid pieces of the team over the past couple of seasons. Especially this past season, averaging higher in points, rebounds, and assists than his career average. For a center averaging 12 points per game and 10.1 total rebounds his venture into free agency has gone fairly quiet.
With the addition of Andre Drummond at the trade deadline this past season, Cleveland spent most of their cap space on the All-Star center. This will make it tricky for the Cavaliers to retain his services while it still is rumored to be a possibility.
Why the Houston Rockets should want Tristan Thompson
And with Houston’s recent Robert Covington and Trevor Ariza trades they have the flexibility to spend some money. Thompson, who is a University of Texas alumni could take a smaller contract to play with James Harden and Russell Westbrook. After tasting an NBA Championship in 2016 the desire to return to a contender could be more valuable than the money.
Now we have to see the fit. The main reason he should be on a wish list for Houston is his ability to be a glass cleaner. As mention above averaging, 10.1 total rebounds is something to be desired but also averaging four offensive rebounds is something the Rockets should take a second look at.
Second-chance points were an issue for Houston last season due to the micro-ball gameplan. But with new head coach Stephen Silas stating that being one-dimensional will not work, it is now apparent that Houston needs a center.
It also should be mentioned that Thompson took some shots from the 3-point range in the 2019-20 season, something that he has not done in his nine-year NBA career. And while he took a low volume of shots, which is expected, he did shoot a percentage of .391. Not a groundbreaking statistic by any means but it shows the potential of adding another dimension to his game in the latter of his career and he is not afraid of the perimeter.
With Thompson having experience playing alongside superstars in the past like LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, he should have no issue fitting in with Harden and Westbrook and proving to be an exceptional rebounder and role-playing big man for Clutch City.