6 big men the Rockets can still sign in free agency

Isaiah Hartenstein #55 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Isaiah Hartenstein #55 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Juan Hernangomez #41 of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

1. Juan Hernangomez

Although former Minnesota Timberwolves center Juan Hernangomez isnt exactly a household name, he’s one of the best centers on the free agent market, for a number of reasons. The 25-year-old power forward was dealt from the Denver Nuggets to the Wolves at the trade deadline last season, as he was included in the deal that sent Robert Covington to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Gerald Green.

The move saw Hernangomez go from being a reserve to instantly becoming a starter on the Wolves, and the 6-foot-9 forward didn’t disappoint. Hernangomez averaged 12.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in 29.4 minutes per game during his time in Minnesota, while also posting true shooting splits of 57.6 percent, which is slightly higher than his career average of 56 percent.

Hernangomez doesn’t move the needle much on the defensive end, but he’d instantly become one of the Rockets’ best shooters, as he made 42 percent of his 3-point attempts in Minnesota, while attempting 4.9 threes per game. The Spain native is a career 35.9 percent shooter from long-range, which is a significant need for a Rockets team that finished due 2019-20 season with their lowest 3-point percentage since 2007 and hasn’t added any shooters thus far in free agency.

Hernangomez could possibly be needed to be signed through a portion of the Rockets’ mid-level exception, which can be spread out across several players or spent directly on one player.

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The Houston Rockets could find themselves in a bidding war for Hernangomez, as he’s a restricted free agent, meaning the Wolves can match any offer for the long-range sniper. For a player such as Hernangomez, who has only sniffed the postseason once during his entire NBA career, he’d surely yearn for the opportunity to join a Rockets team that hasn’t missed the postseason in eight consecutive years.