The Houston Rockets came into the 2020-21 NBA free agency with more questions than answers. Every day there has been a different rumor centering on their two superstars. One day James Harden wants out and will only play for one team. The next day Russell Westbrook is being traded to (insert team).
Even with all the rumors flying, the Rockets have not moved from their position. They prefer to run it back with their two future Hall of Famers. They will only make a trade if they are getting back a young star and picks. Free agency would be the first sign of if the Rockets were going all-in or trying to rebuild.
Those questions were answered yesterday when it was announced the Rockets were signing Christian Wood, the 6ft 10 inch center who last played for the Detroit Pistons.
At 25, Wood gives the Houston Rockets an athletic potential All-Star to pair (hopefully) with Harden and Westbrook. But the Rockets aren’t done and still need to fill in key spots on the roster. The Rockets can only sign players to the minimum, but a sign and trade could expand their options. Here are three players the Rockets could still possibly add in free agency.
Houston Rockets possible signing Nerlens Noel
The 6 ft 11-inch center has been on three different teams since entering the NBA in the 2014-15 season with the 76ers. Noel has never been considered a starting-caliber center but has become a valuable asset off the bench in the last two years with the Dallas Mavericks and the last two years with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Noel would provide the Houston Rockets with another mobile, long center to play above the rim on pick and rolls. Noel made a little over two million last year, so he shouldn’t be looking for much more than that in his next contract. As stated earlier, the Rockets can only sign free agents for the minimum( or a little above) unless it is a sign and trade.
Noel would also add a defensive presence at the rim, something the Rockets have lacked since trading Capela. Noel averaged 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds last year in his 18.5 minutes a game.
Houston Rockets possible signing DeMarcus Cousins
I have written in previous articles how DeMarcus Cousins would be a great fit for this Rockets team. Even though he is coming off yet another major leg injury, he is reported to be ready to go for training camp. Cousins, a former All-Star, wouldn’t cant give you 20 plus minutes a game anymore but is still one of the most intelligent big men in the league
Cousins would provide you with a low post threat, something the Rockets haven’t had in several years. Giving you 10-15 minutes a game, Cousins could help solidify the Houston Rockets bench.
Houston Rockets possible signing Jeff Teague
If the Rockets do run it back, they will need to fill the backup spot at point guard. Teague at 32 would be the perfect backup point guard that could give you valuable minutes to relieve Harden and Westbrook. Teague averaged 10.9 points on 43.6 percent shooting and 36.8 percent from three, along with 5.2 assists and 2.4 rebounds over his 59 appearances.
Teague numbers from last year don’t jump out at you on paper, but Teague is the type of player you would need if you are going to compete for a championship. Teague would have to play for the minimum, but that would be possible if the Rockets can convince Harden to give it one more year and stay with the Houston Rockets.
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