Free Agency

Houston Rockets: “Pass or pursue” on Lauri Markkanen 

Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls
Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls / Stacy Revere/Getty Images
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The Houston Rockets appear to have their 2021-22 roster set. The holdovers from last season will be joined by their 2021 NBA draft class and free-agent addition Daniel Theis. At this exact moment, the Rockets have 13 players on their roster, which leaves them two openings. It wouldn’t be a surprise for the Rockets to enter the season without filling either roster spot, but a free agent remains who could be worth a long hard look— Lauri Markkanen.

NBA free agency broke with a frenzie. In the seconds, minutes, and hours following the official start of free agency on August 2nd, almost every free agent had a deal lined up. However, not everyone was so lucky. 

The two most notable free agents to be left out in the cold were Denis Schroder and the aforementioned Lauri Markkanen. Schroder, after declining a reported four-year $84 million extension with the Lakers, ended up settling for a one-year $5.9 million deal with the Boston Celtics

The Schroder deal is meant to highlight that an opportunity exists for the Rockets with Lauri Markkanen. When free agents miss out, they have to settle. And when free agents settle, teams almost always win. 

Markkanen is not a perfect player, after all, there is a reason he’s still unsigned, but he remains a talented player. He may not have started out in the Rockets’ offseason plans, but they need to strike when the opportunity arises. Should the Rockets pass on Lauri Markkanen? Or should they pursue? 

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