2. Jock Landale
This was one of the strangest signings of the offseason. The Rockets needed a backup center, and Landale has proven capable over the last two years with two different teams. Last season in Phoenix, he averaged 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per game. The 6’11 big man was played off the floor against the Clippers in the playoffs but returned to the rotation against Denver.
The Rockets agreed to a four-year $32 million deal with the 27-year-old this summer. Only the first season is guaranteed, but it was a questionable move at a devalued position. Kevon Looney, Zach Collins, Mason Plumlee, Andre Drummond, Cody Zeller, and more veteran big men are making less than Landale next season. Some of those players are starters with significantly more upside than the Rockets' recent signee.
To make matters worse, Houston has a bit of a roster crunch in the frontcourt. They want Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun, Jeff Green, Tari Eason, Jae’Sean Tate, and Landale to get minutes this season, but there is not enough playing time. Jock Landale will make $8 million and may not be a nightly part of the rotation.
The Houston Rockets will regret signing the 6’11 big man by January, but they will want a total do-over after handing out a massive contract to a divisive wing.