Houston Rockets free agency option #2: Josh Hart
After a storied four-year career at Villanova, which included winning a national championship, Josh Hart was acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers in a draft-day deal, where he instantly became a contributor. Hart played 63 games as a rookie and even started 23 of them, averaging 7.9 points and making 39.6% of his threes.
Hart would spend one more season in L.A. before being dealt to the New Orleans Pelicans in the offseason of 2019. in a deal that centered around Anthony Davis. In New Orleans, Hart helped change the culture, while also fitting in with the young, upstart Pelicans.
Hart averaged 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in 2019-20, while also making 34.2% of his triples. This past season, Hart averaged 9.2 points on 32.6% from deep, while also averaging 2.3 assists and 8 rebounds.
The latter is impressive, as Hart finished second behind only Russell Westbrook for the most rebounds by a non-frontcourt player in the entire league. For the Rockets, Hart could be a useful option as a reserve, as he can not only score, but is also able to rebound the ball well, as noted earlier.
Hart is also a versatile wing defender, which would also be useful for the Rockets. Sure, Hart has regressed as a long-range shooter, but part of the problem last season was the fact that the overwhelming majority of his 3-point attempts came with less than 5 seconds on the shot clock (77% to be exact).
At 26-years-old, Hart would still fit in with the Rockets' youth movement and he could provide a steady veteran presence, in addition to one of the better 3-and-D options, not to mention his elite rebounding ability, which would be a boost for a Rockets team that ranked 27th in rebounding last season.
If the Rockets do have interest in Hart, it could get tricky, however, as he's a restricted free agent.