Houston Rockets free agency option #5: Jordan McLaughlin
After being on a two-way contract, Jordan McLaughlin received a qualifying offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves, making him an unrestricted free agent. The 25-year-old point guard has been a steady 3-point shooter, as he's made 36.9% of his threes through his first two seasons in the league.
McLaughlin made 38.2% of his attempts in 2019-20 and 35.9% in 2020-21, both 5th-best on the Wolves. Aside from just his outside shooting (which we know the Rockets covet), the USC alum is unheralded as a true point guard.
McLaughlin is really good at driving and collapsing the defense, which isn't a skillset that the Rockets have much of at the point guard position. McLaughlin has the tendency to get to the basket and kick out to open shooters, especially in the corner. His penetration ability allows him to get to the teeth of the defense, which creates problems for opposing teams.
The biggest concern regarding McLaughlin is the fact that he's just 5-foot-11, which isn't ideal from a defensive standpoint. But McLaughlin is underrated as a frontcourt defender, especially as it pertains to playing the passing lanes.
In fact, the 25-year-old guard has averaged at least 2.6 steals per 48 minutes in each of his first two seasons in the league. McLaughlin would especially be a useful signing if the Rockets look to trade D.J. Augustin at the deadline, which wouldn't be far-fetched, as the 33-year-old Augustin's shooting and veteran presence could be tempting for contending teams at the deadline