Rockets News

4 free agent forwards the Houston Rockets need to target

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 28: John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after a basket against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at State Farm Arena on December 28, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 28: John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after a basket against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at State Farm Arena on December 28, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
Otto Porter Jr. #22 of the Chicago Bulls (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Houston Rocket free-agent forward target #4: Otto Porter

Otto Porter, since signing a max contract worth $106.5 million over four years, has seen his productivity wane considerably. Once a 3 and D stalwart, Porter is now a bounce-back candidate.

Porter will be 28-years-old next season, so there isn’t much age-related risk with him, but he’ll need to get back to his old ways if he has any hope of landing another sizable contract as he enters his 30’s. While the Rockets should be targeting younger players, Porter represents a good low-risk investment that could pay dividends.

Over his three-year peak from 2015-16 to 2017-18 Porter was an offensive efficiency machine by pairing elite 3-point shooting with a minuscule turnover rate. That three-year stretch he played in 230 games, averaged 13.3 points, 6 rebounds, and 0.8 turnovers per game, on 49.8-percent shooting from the field and 41.7-percent shooting from 3-point range.

However, since then Porter has struggled, by his standards, to shoot the 3-ball and a noticeable weight gain has slowed him down as a perimeter defender. That being said, Porter struggling from behind the arc the past few seasons has only resulted in a 39.6-percent mark from 3-point range.

That figure would currently lead the Rockets, so even the diminished version of Porter would represent a serious upgrade for the worst 3-point shooting team in the league. Worst case scenario, Porter is a slightly undersized stretch four that is a sieve on defense, but in the best-case scenario, he loses some weight and becomes, once again, a multi-positional defender that can light it up from beyond the arc.

The good thing for Houston is that he likely won’t cost too much to bring in and if he really is just a shell of himself then they can move on from him rather harmlessly. It just so happened that Porter’s point guard when he was at his best was John Wall so there should be an instant connection between the two if he were to come to Houston.

The upside with Porter is too great to not kick the tires on and the presence of John Wall might be enough to convince him to come to Houston to try and regain his mojo. If the Rockets can land him on a one-year prove-it deal then it’s very likely that Porter comes into camp in shape and ready to earn another big payday.

Next: #3

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