2. Jock Landale
Landale was the backup center for the Suns in 2023. He played a key role in their second-round playoff series against the Nuggets, including averaging 8.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in 22.5 minutes over the last four games of the series, which included two Suns wins.
His play helped him get a four-year $32 million contract from the Rockets in free agency. He makes $8 million every season, but only the 2023-24 campaign is guaranteed.
That is not positive news for Landale as he has been in and out of the team’s rotation. He has played more than 15 minutes in a game just three times and never left the bench in nine of the Rockets’ last 16 contests as of Dec. 28.
Jock Landale can be a key rotation player in the right situation, but he has struggled to find his role behind Alperen Sengun. The Houston Rockets desperately need some rim protection and will likely be searching for a backup center before the deadline.
Landale will certainly be on the trade block, but can the Rockets find a deal that improves their roster and helps them win now? The ability to make his contract expire improves their chances, but it won’t be easy.