Free Agency

Houston Rockets: Top-5 2022 free agent forwards

N.B. Lindberg
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Isaac Bonga, Darius Bazley, Houston Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

Houston Rockets Free Agent Forward #5 Isaac Bonga

If you haven’t heard of Isaac Bonga, don’t feel bad. He’s not worth knowing. In 143 career games, he has played for three different organizations and posted a career line of 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. So why should the Rockets target him? Two words, upside and versatility.

Standing 6’8, Bonga has the rare distinction of having played every position in his short NBA career. He can legitimately do a bit of everything. His versatility is his main selling point, but so is his upside.

Bonga’s lone extended run came in 2019-20 with the Wizards. In 66 games and 49 starts, he averaged 5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game on 50.4% shooting, 35.2% 3-point shooting, and 81.2% free throw shooting. Every other season he has shot dismally, but it’s clear something, at one point, was clicking for him. 

After spending most of last season in the G-League, the cost to acquire Bonga is unlikely to be exorbitant. He’s a super-low-cost flyer that could turn into something useful. If he doesn’t pan out, it won’t cost the team much of anything.  

If the Rockets can unlock Bonga’s stroke again, they’d have a very useful 3-and-D wing with better than average ball handling skills. That’s not a star, but it is a solid role player. Finding role players on the margins has been one of Rafael Stone’s best attributes while leading the Rockets, and there’s no reason to expect that to change. 

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