Rockets predicted to target inefficient scoring threat over familiar face

Indiana Pacers v Charlotte Hornets
Indiana Pacers v Charlotte Hornets / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

After shelling out a combined $248 million to Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks, Jock Landale, and Jeff Green, the Houston Rockets still have the second-most cap space available in the league, behind only the San Antonio Spurs. The Rockets have between $12-$14.5 million available and they could add another $6.5 million by moving forward Jae’Sean Tate (which they appear unlikely to do).

Why is this important? Simple: because the Rockets aren’t quite finished retooling their roster.

The latest reports have the franchise possibly looking to add another guard, albeit a combo guard. This has been an unpopular choice by many in the fanbase, because the Rockets just shipped off guards TyTy Washington and Josh Christopher, both of whom they invested first-round picks in.

But newly-hired Rockets coach Ime Udoka has made it a focus to add veterans, which the Rockets desperately needed after being one of the youngest teams in the league. According to Bleacher Report, the Rockets could possibly be on the cusp of making yet another unpopular choice.

Bleacher Report's latest idea has the Rockets winding up with former Charlotte Hornets guard/forward Kelly Oubre Jr.

Rockets predicted to targe inefficient scoring threat

The free agent market hasn’t been kind to the 27-year-old, as he finds himself unsigned and still in search of a home. But it’s not because he can’t bring anything to the table.

Oubre is capable of providing a scoring punch, as evidenced by his 2022-23 campaign, which saw him average 20.3 points-a career best. Oubre’s efficiency leaves a lot to be desired, however, as he posted a 53 percent true shooting split last season- his second such true shooting mark in the last three seasons.

And although Oubre can generate offense for himself, he’s not exactly a marksman from deep, as he made just 31.9 percent of his triples on a health dosage of 7.1 attempts. Oubre has never shot better than 35.2 percent from long-range and he only did that once (2019-20). Since then, he’s made just 33 percent of his treys, which is below average.

Oubre has also never been mistaken for an elite defender, which we know newly-hired Rockets coach Ime Udoka has prioritized.

The Rockets would be wise to pass on Bleacher Report’s idea (although we’ve seen worse ideas from the site), and I’d be surprised if they’ve even given Oubre any consideration.

Instead of Oubre, the Rockets should instead target a familiar face like Austin Rivers, who is still on the market and possesses more veteran leadership, which has also been a point of emphasis for Udoka.