The Rockets are still looking for any way to improve their roster despite losing out on Jimmy Butler. If the Rockets get Russell Westbrook, as they are rumored to be chasing after, they’ll have to rid themselves of the contracts of guys like Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and/or P.J. Tucker. This is the price they have to pay for getting their highly coveted third superstar, but it is also the move that they have been looking to do since the summer started.
If this is actually happens, the Rockets need to have back up plans in place. Inserting Westbrook into Mike D’Antoni’s system seems like a troublesome idea (or terrible idea) considering the way Russell plays but it’s something they’ll have to figure out if Daryl Morey is dead-set on acquiring the star.
With that in mind, the Rockets have to consider the holes that need to be patched. One big issue was though Capela worked perfectly for pick and roll opportunities with James Harden and Chris Paul, he still couldn’t score whatsoever in the low block. Now this might be a ridiculous idea, but would picking up the waived Dwight Howard make sense? Though his tenure with Houston before wasn’t the greatest, he still made a huge impact on both ends of the floor. You also have to consider the fact that his ego is completely shot because of his last few years in the league so he might not demand the ball as much. Dwight is still good defensively and still gets double doubles like it’s no one’s business. Considering that you would get him for a tenth of the price that Capela costs, this is something that Houston should consider. Since JaVale McGee just got re-signed by the Lakers, this might be the only option left unless the Rockets bite the bullet and keep Capela. Other options to consider could be Timofey Mozgov (another good rim protector with solid post moves) and of course Joakim Noah.
Houston might have to look at veterans to fill up the rest of the roster. Some really cheap options if they are still strapped for cash, because of Westbrook’s enormous contract, could be guys like Kyle Korver and Nick Young (who for some reason isn’t signed by anyone and should be). There’s also cheap options like Trey Burke, Thabo Sefolosha and Jimmer Fredette especially, who would be a perfect fit for D’Antoni’s offense but still hasn’t been able to find a home in the NBA.
Regardless, if Houston is focused on getting their third star, they’re going to have to make some big moves. They’ll also need a lot more shooting if they do end up sending Gordon and Tucker away. If they keep Iman Shumpert and give him a bigger role and sign some cheap options for shooters (Korver, Young, Sefolosha, etc.), they could maybe make up for acquiring the polarizing play of Russell Westbrook.
It’s unlikely that Houston acquires Westbrook in a trade, but let it be known that these are the things they have to consider if they do, because they still might not have any “real” options if they have to pay Chris Paul and Westbrook… unless they get rid of Paul altogether.
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