It’s well-known that the Houston Rockets are lacking in the 3-point shooting department. Sure, the Rockets added Fred VanVleet this past offseason but VanVleet isn’t exactly a sniper from long-range, as he made just 34.2 percent of his triples in 2022-23.
He’s more of a streaky shooter who can get hot on any given night. The Rockets added Reggie Bullock, who can light it up from deep and averaged 38 percent from long-range last season, but they’ll need more shooting, as they obviously can’t rely on him to be their only shooter.
One name that should be appealing to the Rockets is New York Knicks marksman Evan Fournier, who is a career 38 percent shooter from deep. The last time Fournier was a starter on the Knicks, he made nearly 39 percent of his 3-point attempts.
These days, Fournier can’t seem to sniff Tom Thibodeau’s rotation, as he’s been on the outside looking in. In fact, Fournier went so far as to request a trade, as he’s hoping for an opportunity to get on the court and help a team compete.
Rudy Gobert's latest comments should serve as a message to the Houston Rockets front office.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert openly spoke about Fournier’s standoff with the Knicks and delivered a message to the Rockets (and any team in need of long-range shooting).
“I think he can contribute and help a lot of teams. I think everybody knows it. But it’s kind of weird when you end up on the bench and you don’t really know why. Sometimes you can be stuck in a situation — I know he’s going to have an opportunity again, and everybody will understand that he can help and win. And do it at a high level. And do it every night.”
“I know it’s going to be all right. And if it’s not here, it’s somewhere else. So if they don’t value him, I know there’s a lot of other teams that would take him on. And I know he’s a winner. He’s a great teammate. He keeps putting in the work.”
The Knicks are hoping to deal Fournier, as he’s a liability on defense, but are hoping to avoid releasing him or attaching assets to part with him and his expiring $19 million salary.
The Rockets could easily match Fournier’s salary by attaching Kevin Porter Jr. Porter is a distressed asset and will surely be released by any team that acquires him due to a disturbing domestic violence incident last month.
For this reason, the Rockets will have to attach assets to rid themselves of him and his situation. However, in a deal involving Fournier, the Rockets could seemingly walk away with only having to part with a second-round pick, which would be well worth it.
Porter was the Rockets’ best shooter in 2022-23 and the Rockets will need to replace that production. And keeping his $16 million salary slot will be vital.
Adding Fournier would be a great pick-up for the Rockets.
Just ask Gobert.