• Joe Keller

The Free Agency Profile for the Houston Rockets

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*Photo via Getty Images

Houston Rockets, 56-26 - (1st Southwest Division, 2nd Western Conference)

Season Summary: The Houston Rockets had one of their best seasons in recent memory, advancing all the way to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1995. (Also the last time they were in the NBA Finals) They finished with the second best record in a Western Conference that was historically good. Rockets star, James Harden, elevated his play from All-Star to Superstar this season, putting on a campaign which resulted in a second place finish in the MVP race. Harden carried a Rockets team that was without star big man, Dwight Howard, for a majority of the season. In the end, Harden and the Rockets would finish second in the West to the eventual MVP Steph Curry, and NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors. The Rockets showed resilience all year, with players elevating their games in the face of many injury problems. Their resilience was on full display during the Western Conference Semifinals.

They found themselves down three to one against the Los Angeles Clippers and fought their way back to win the series.

The Rockets will look to add more skill and make another run for a championship next year.

Cap Space: 6.3 million dollars in cap space.

Team’s Free Agents:

Jason Terry, Shooting Guard, Unrestricted Free Agent

Josh Smith, Small Forward, Unrestricted Free Agent

Corey Brewer, Small Forward, Unrestricted Free Agent

Patrick Beverley, Point Guard, Restricted Free Agent

K.J. McDaniels, Small Forward, Restricted Free Agent

Who Stays and Who Goes?

I expect the Rockets to match any deal that Beverley gets from any team, it was clear how much they missed him in the postseason. Beverley is important to the Rockets because his defense on opposing guards. A skill that is extremely important out West, especially come playoff time.

Jason Terry could be back because of the lack of guard depth the Rockets have, but he is getting old and will have to take less money.

I expect Corey Brewer to come back, his hard play night in and night out gives this team a spark.

Josh Smith is a big question mark, I’m not sure if Houston can afford Smith at the bargain they were getting him last year, with the Detroit Pistons paying most of his salary. I’m sure Houston would like him back, but the draft picks of Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell will fill minutes at his position and the Rockets may look to give Harden more help at the guard positions in free agency.

Team Needs:

Depth- Mostly at the guard position

Playmakers- The Rockets rely to much on James Harden, they need someone who create for themselves and others.

Possible Targets:

LaMarcus Aldridge- Aldridge plans on meeting with the Rockets when free agency opens tomorrow, but he is also meeting with a handful of teams and it doesn’t appear right now the Rockets are a front runner

Goran Dragic-The Rockets have been trying to acquire Dragic from the Suns ever since he was made available. They need another guard to help Harden with the playmaking workload. Beverley is a big part of the team, but he is not an playmaking point guard, he is on the court for his defense, Dragic will add another element to the Rockets offense.

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