1. Andre Drummond
The top player that the Houston Rockets must pass on is Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond, who the Rockets reportedly have considered acquiring, as reported by Michael Scotto of HoopsHype on Wednesday.
“The Mavericks and Rockets are among the teams who’ve expressed exploratory interest in Drummond, HoopsHype has learned.”
The reports came as quite a surprise, as Drummond is in the final year of his contract and would seem to want to play for a top contender, after stints with the lowly Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Not only that, Drummond will be 28-years-old before the 2021-22 season starts, which also doesn’t fit in with the Houston Rockets’ youth movement. Drummond is certain to land a max contract this summer, and the Rockets don’t have a dire need to pay a center max dollars.
Drummond would be well into his 30s making within the range of $25-35 million annually, which would hinder the Rockets’ flexibility, which general manager Rafael Stone has emphasized throughout his roster moves this season. The Rockets already have younger bigs that are on much more team-friendly deals, such as Christian Wood and Jae’Sean Tate, who have both impressed this season and made a significant impact.
Drummond is a former All-Star, which the Rockets have become infamous for pursuing, but he’s extremely limited on the offensive end and provides value as just a rim protector and a rebounder. Granted, those are traits that the Rockets could use, but not at the $30 million price tag.
If the Rockets were one of the top-four teams in the Western Conference then it would make sense to make a move for a player such as Drummond, but with the playoffs surely out of the picture and Drummond almost a safe bet to cash in this summer in free agency, the Rockets would be wise not to give up assets on a player that doesn’t improve their chances of winning this season.