Houston Rockets receive surprising offseason grade

2023 NBA Summer League - Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder
2023 NBA Summer League - Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder / Allen Berezovsky/GettyImages

This offseason, the Houston Rockets faced the daunting task of trying to morph into an overnight contender. This almost seemed unfathomable, as the Rockets have essentially been an AAU team for the last handful of years, or at least that's what they've mirrored.

Part of that was because of the youth movement they've undergone and another part is because of the degree of poor coaching that was being exhibited by former coach Stephen Silas.

Regardless of the reasoning, the Rockets have been the worst team in the Western Conference in each of the last three seasons, so unless they had an action-packed summer, they weren't going to come close to achieving their goal of transforming into a postseason player in 2023-24.

Well, that's exactly what they did. The Rockets started by hiring the hottest coaching candidate on the market in Ime Udoka, who would've otherwise not been available, were it not for unusual circumstances.

Under Udoka, the Rockets made it a goal to add reinforcements on defense, as they added both Dillon Brooks and Fred VanVleet- two of the best defenders at their positions. The duo, along with Jeff Green and Jock Landale, also bring valuable veteran experience to a team littered with young talent on the roster.

To add color to that, the Rockets entered last season as the fourth-youngest team in the league, with an average age of 23.9 years. The Rockets added two more youngsters this summer by way of Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore, although they likely won't garner significant roles in 2023-24.

Houston Rockets receive surprising offseason grade.

The Rockets' roster transformation drew the attention of CBS Sports, as they gave the Rockets an A- for their 2023 offseason showing, making the Rockets one of just 10 teams to receive an A grade. Their justification is below:

"Hoping to be a doormat no more, the Rockets brought in a no-nonsense leader in Ime Udoka and gritty players like VanVleet and Brooks to lead a veritable cornucopia of young, electrifying talent. Houston reportedly went hard at Brook Lopez, who would have provided a much-needed defensive anchor in the middle, but the Rockets still made huge strides this offseason while bringing in potential future stars in Thompson and Whitmore."

The grade came as a bit of a surprise, as the Rockets have rarely been on the positive end of any evaluations and/or assessments.

There isn't any telling how strong the Rockets will be next season, as many believe they didn't make enough moves and/or changes to remove the stench that's hovered over the franchise for the last several years. The counter-argument is that the team can't be fairly evaluated, due to the poor coaching under Silas.

In other words, the team was simply needing an improvement at the head coaching position.

Regardless of where you stand, it can be mutually be agreed that the Rockets can't get any worse than what we've seen for the last three seasons. And everyone would agree that the team will be significantly better.